I have leveled up in Pilates. There’s an exercise called ‘the Teaser’, which, at the beginning level, consists of lying on your back with your legs at a 45 degree angle, feet against a wall. You elevate your feet slightly so they’re no longer against the wall, and then, using your stomach muscles only–ie, without throwing your head and shoulders forward for momentum, which is the tricky part–you roll up until you’re sitting on your bottom and have brought your arms into parallel with your legs:
It’s startlingly hard, by far the most difficult of the beginner-level exercises I’ve been doing, and until Tuesday I’d never actually been able to pull myself up onto my tailbone. I could get the small of my back a little ways off the floor, but I couldn’t get up to the full V. Now I can! Level up!
It doesn’t mean I’m starting on the intermediate stuff, though (although I’m doing a number of the exercises at the intermediate level). I think what I’ll start doing is going through this routine twice when I do it. After a month of that I’ll probably be able to manage more of the intermediate exercises (of which there are twice as many).(x-posted from the essential kit)