The government-imposed lockdown has certainly impacted the fitness enthusiast, given the inability to access fitness centres. However, that shouldn’t stop you, should it? Amidst the current chaos and self-isolation, Radhika Karle, nutritionist and pilates master trainer, whose roster of clients includes biggies of Bollywood such as Sonam Kapoor, Rhea Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri and Huma Qureshi, suggested ways in which you can keep yourself busy as well as super fit!
What must be the focal aspect of a home fitness routine?
“I always say that your fitness routine must majorly cover 3 essential areas- Cardio, Strength and Mobility. In order to cover these three aspects, you can engage in cardio kickboxing at home (also a great stress buster), functional training using your body weight for strength, and mat pilates for mobility.”
What are the major benefits of Pilates with respect to the body and holistic well-being?
“Pilates develops core strength. Your core is the powerhouse of your body, so the stronger your core is, the stronger the rest of your body will be. Your core muscles also help stabilise your lower back and pelvis which carry the weight of your entire upper body, and therefore need to be strong and stable to avoid disc injuries. Pilates movements works on helping you stabilise your spine while keeping other areas mobile, so they remain injury free.
However, in a good Pilates session you will feel lengthened, strengthened, and centred which means Pilates also focuses on stretching out, toning, and strengthening the muscles along with realignment that works on improving posture. In other words, it is a full body workout!
Joseph Pilates, the founder of this form of movement, created several principles of which many bring the mind and body awareness together. The primary principles are:
1. Concentration – A strong and focused Pilates practice will increase your ability to concentrate.
2. Control – Pilates is based on mindfulness which promotes proper muscular control. With proper control comes correct form which allows for proper muscular development.”
Can one continue doing Pilates at home?
“Pilates can be practised at home on a mat. You can even invest in a few inexpensive and easily available props like the Pilates ring, a theraband, and a foam roller which can be used for assistance and/or resistance for your at-home Pilates routine.
Four of my favourite mat Pilates exercises are:
1. Bridging – to strengthen the glutes and hamstring.
2. Roll Ups – to work the abdominals while stretching the back.
3. Mini Swan – to strengthen the mid-back muscles and stretch the front of the body.
4. Saw – to nourish the discs of the spine.”
Can you recommend 5 simple exercises that one can practice at home during quarantine?
1. Bridging – to strengthen the back of the legs while mobilising the spine.
(Things to focus on: keep the weight on the back of the shoulders and not on the neck, squeeze your glutes while lifting your hips.)
2. Roll Ups – to strengthen the abdominals while stretching the back of the body.
(Things to focus on: keep your shoulders away from your ears; press the back of the body down into the mat while rolling up and down.)
1. 3. Spine Twist – to stretch the back out and obtain a correct sitting posture.
(Things to focus on: keep your hips rooted into the mat and grow tall up to the ceiling as you twist.)
1. 4. Side Lying Leg Lifts – to strengthen obliques, glutes, and hips.
(Things to focus on: keep the hips stacked and keep the waistline long on both sides.)
1. 5. Mini Swan – to strengthen the mid-back extensors.
(Things to focus on: keep the bellybutton pulled up into the spine and keep the back of the legs engaged to avoid straining the lower back.)
What are some of the cardinal fitness rules that one must keep in mind during lockdown?
“The Three Golden Rules are as follows:
1.Create a fitness routine. The same time and in the same space at home, daily!
2. 2.Make your fitness routine something that you enjoy. This way you are more likely to stick to actually doing it.
3. 3.Hydrate! Even though you may not be sweating, sitting in an AC room all day can dehydrate you. Dehydrated muscles lead to cramping, fatigue and increased risk of injury, so drink enough water.”
Is there any provision for online Pilates classes during quarantine?
“Yes, of course. We, at Radhika’s Balanced Body are offering online mat Pilates sessions on Instagram LIVE every Thursday at 12 pm through our private handle - @rbb_live
There is a small fee for the classes, a part of the proceeds of which are donated to the COVID-19 relief fund that has been set up by the Indian government for SAARC countries.”
We are also offering 30-minute FREE classes on our Instagram LIVE stories and Facebook pages (all you have to do is follow up!)
Following is the schedule during the quarantine period:
Monday & Friday 6:30 am Core Cardio
Tuesday & Thursday 9:00 am Pilates 101 – the Fundamentals
Wednesday & Saturday 8:00 am Piyo (Pilates Yoga fusion)
Can you give our readers some essential advice when it comes to working out at home for the time being?
“Do keep in mind the three important things about exercise:
1. It releases endorphins which are the happy hormones. We need those hormones more than anything during these trying times!
2. Exercising builds muscle. Muscle is the fat-burning machinery of your body. The less body fat, the less your risk of developing hormone imbalances which cause lifestyle diseases such as PCOD, diabetes, and hypothyroidism.
3. Exercise builds immunity. An immunity booster to the rescue!
My social media handles are:
Facebook: Radhika’s Balanced Body