As you may know, the Pilates Method is a series of controlled movements or exercises designed to work with the body, not against it. There are about more than 500 exercises involved in the Pilates Method, and these exercises are categorized or divided according to the ability of the performer. To mention, there are the essential level, power level, intermediate, and the advanced level.
In this article, I will pay much attention to the Pilates Method Level 4, which is the advanced level. Note that in the Pilates Method Level 4, you will be exploring the more difficult exercises of the Pilates Method. This level is a highly powered and revitalizing workout designed for the students who has mastered both the essential and intermediate Pilates movements. Many people even consider this level as the “ultimate challenge”.
Given that fact, the Pilates Method Level 4 is no doubt perfect for the experienced movers. However, before you can perform the most intricate movements of the Pilates Method Level 4, you must have enough understanding of the basics of Pilates, including its principles and safety precautions. Knowledge of the basics is highly needed as the advanced level is prone to imbalances and injuries if not performed properly. In some instances, the Pilates advanced level needs the approval of the instructor.
Here are few samples of the exercises involved in Pilates Method Level 4:
* Corkscrew Advanced – To start with this advanced exercise you need to lie on the back with the legs extended to the ceiling. The arms are extended to the side. Then, rotate the pelvis to the left with control. Curl the tailbone off of the floor to swivel the pelvis to the plow position. Next, rotate the pelvis to the right and control the right side of the spine back on the floor. Use your abdominal to center the pelvis on the floor and extend the legs away from the head. Repeat to the other side, and repeat five more sets.
* Leg Pull Front to Downward Dog – This Pilates Method Level 4 exercise typically recognized as a variation of push ups. So, start in the push up position and extend the right foot off of the floor. Lift the right leg to the ceiling and move backwards to a downward dog. Extend the spine forward to return to the push up position with the right foot still off of the floor. Then, repeat to the other side. Repeat two more sets.
* Shoulder Bridge – Start this Pilates Method Level 4 exercise by lying on the back with knees bent and feet in parallel. If the back is working too hard, modify the height of your pelvis. Also, it is a requirement in this Pilates Method Level 4 exercise that you know how to lift the pelvis up with the strength of your legs. If all else is okay, bridge the pelvis off the floor with legs. Exhale with a hollow and lift the left thigh. Extend leg to the ceiling. Inhale and lower straight leg to the floor with maintaining the bridge. Exhale and extend left leg back to the ceiling. Then, return foot to the floor. Do the same movements now with your right leg. If done, lower pelvis back to original position and repeat three more sets.
Other advanced exercises that fall under the Pilates Method Level 4 include the single leg twist, double leg to side, double leg kick to side, rolldown, kneeling side kick, rollover, jackknife, hips up bicycle, swimming, mermaid, boomerang, and a lot more.