Happy Friday, everyone!
It’s been a little over two months now that I have been doing Pilates and yoga twice a week at my amazing local junior college. After the first couple of weeks, my Pilates teacher had us do a fitness test. The test involved an assortment of basic fitness exercises or stretches that we could use to analyze our practice.
The first test was really hard for me and I ended up being sore for many days. In fact, I believe I blamed the knee pain for weeks on that first fitness test because the pain began immediately after class that day. This time around I’m a little sore in my thighs and arms but not anywhere close to the amount of pain I was in before.
Plus, I was SO excited to see my progress!
Here is my chart to see how I have done:
(the bold information is the exercises I improved on AND passed my goal – the red is where I did not improve)
I really don’t understand how I did *less* sit-ups than I did before since I know my abs are pretty strong. I think I just didn’t go fast enough. Here is an explantion of the moves we did for the test in case you want to make your own progress chart!
Forearm Plank – A horrible strenuous but AMAZING move that can really help strengthen your core – We had to hold this for as long as we could!
Wall Squat: Like the plank, we had to hold this for as long as we could. I was SO proud of my minute and a half improvement on this! One girl in my class got over five minutes!
Push- ups – How many can you do in a minute? I started out doing normal push-ups but twenty seconds in I had to go to my knees to complete my 24!
Sit-ups – How many sit-ups can you do in a minute? Our teacher had just doing them with out arms stretched out so we would touch our knees with each one we did.
Hamstring Flexibility – Standing up with your feet hip distance apart, how far do your finger tips fall as you bend over to try to touch the floor? This was another huge improvement that I was proud of. I was amazed that I went from barely being able to touch my feet to being able to really push my fingers up against the floor… soon I’ll have my whole hands on the ground, I feel!
There are other stretches we did too for each individual leg. Laying on your back with one leg down, lift your other leg and pull back as far as you can… most people can do a 90 degree angle pretty easily if they have had no injuries or previous strains to the muscles. I made a decent improvement on this one too. It’s interesting because many of us in the class had totally different measures between the two legs! We also had a partner helping push our leg back so if you have someone around, utilize them to help you!
Groin Stretch – This one was hard! We had to sit in a “V” position with our legs at a 90 degree angle. We used the lines on the ground to measure out an angle (you can do the same by sitting on square tiles or cracks on a driveway or make an angle out of tape if you want!) With a partner, our partner helped push our legs outward to see how far we could stretch. This was another improvement for me as I have been practicing!
Finally we measured the flexibility of our shoulders, something I really lack. With my right arm over, I can touch my hand now which is way better than just my fingertips that I could reach before. On my left arm, however, I can barely reach to my second knuckle on my finger. This is a stretch I remember learning in grade school and has been helpful for many years!
So there you have it – My Pilates fitness test!
Are there any moves you practice already? How would you rate your flexibility?
If you want a little chart of your own, let me know and I can email you a file! You can also create your own fitness test! I would love to hear from other people about how they do, so let me know if you choose to make your own test!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Lots of love and stretchy hamstrings for all,