The Pilates Frog exercise is one of my absolute favorites. I learned this exercise on the Arc barrel, but you can just as easily do it on a foam roller or on nothing but your mat. The reason why I love this exercise so much is because you get to trim your thighs, work your abs, stretch your legs, and challenge your coordination and memory with choreography. Here’s more about how to do this fantastic exercise.
- 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 in to the sides of your ribs.
- Exhale, and reach your legs out on an angle. Laterally rotate your legs from the hips so that your knees face away from each other. Flex your feet at the ankles.
- Inhale, and bring your legs up toward the ceiling. Point your feet at the ankles.
- Exhale, and bend your knees so that your legs form a diamond. In this position, your knees should still be facing away from each other and your big toes should be touching. Make sure that you don’t smush your diamond by allowing your knees to bend too deeply.
- Inhale, and keep your thighs still in space as you straighten your knees. You should be in a straddle position here. Flex your feet at the ankles.
- Exhale, and circle your legs so that they reach out on an angle. Join your heels.
- Complete steps 8-12 for 4 repetitions.
- Then, switch directions.
Switching Directions in Pilates Frog
- Start with your legs out on an angle. Your legs should be laterally rotated, and your feet should be flexed at the ankle with your heels connected.
- Inhale, and circle your legs wide. You will end up being in a straddle. Point your feet at the ankles.
- Exhale, and bend your knees while keeping your thighs still in space. Connect your big toes so that your legs make a diamond shape. Make sure that you don’t bend your knees too much and smush your diamond.
- Inhale, and reach your legs straight toward the ceiling. Make sure that you keep lateral rotation from your hips. Your knees should still be facing away from each other.
- Exhale, and lower your legs on an angle. Flex your feet at the ankles.
- Complete 4 repetitions this direction.
- 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 Frog Video
Here’s a video for visual learners.
Which part of Pilates Frog do you like best–the ab work, the leg work, or the coordination from the choreography? Let us know in the comments below.
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