The Pilates version of Changement is a great adaptation of a classic ballet jump. In ballet, you would jump and, in the air, change which leg is in front. With the Pilates version, we remove the jumping and take it down to the mat.
By being on your back and practicing this exercise, you get to trim your inner thighs (adductors) and challenge your abdominals. Plus, this fun exercise lets you develop your inner dancer. Here’s more about this challenging ab exercise and how to practice it.
- Begin on your back with your knees bent, heels in line with your SITs bones.
- Lift your hips so you can slide the roller under them. When you lower your hips, your sacrum (tailbone) should be on the roller. Place your hands on either side of the roller to help keep it stable.
- Use traditional Pilates breathing.
- Inhale in to the sides of your ribs. Exhale and tilt your pelvis slightly in to Imprint.
- Inhale to lift your left leg to Table top.
- Exhale to lift the right leg to meet the left.
- Inhale here and exhale as you straighten your legs toward the ceiling.
- From your hips, laterally rotate so that your knees turn out to the side. You can choose whether you want to point your feet or flex them. You can also decide to do both and have your feet pointed as you lower and flexed as you come up. Personally, I like to keep my feet pointed throughout the exercise.
- With straight knees, move from the hips so that your right leg is tightly crossed in front of your left leg.
- Keep your legs straight and switch so that your left leg is in front of your right leg.
- You’re going to switch your legs back and forth for 8 sets as you lower your legs away from you. Be very mindful that your abdominals stay engaged throughout the exercise. If they quit working, you will know because your low back will start to arch, the foam roller will roll back and forth, and you may feel pain in your low back.
- Take 8 sets to bring your legs back up to your starting position.
- You can do several of these. I would recommend 5-10.
- When you’re finished, bring your legs back to Table top.
- Inhale to set your left foot back on the ground.
- Exhale to set the right foot on the ground.
- Lift your hips, and slide the roller out from underneath you.
Finding a Foam Roller
If you want to order a foam roller, I recommend the OPTP brand foam roller. Their foam rollers are firm and don’t dent or bend easily. It’s crucial for your foam roller to be firm and stay the same shape throughout its use.
Foam rollers are a great tool to elevate your Pilates mat work, but they’re also wonderful self-massage tools. Here’s a link to some foam roller stretches.
Pilates Changement Video
Here is a video for visual learners.
What do you think of the Pilates version of Changement? Let us know in the comments below.
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