Pilates Moves For Parents Who Question Their Parental Fitness

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The One Hundred Regrets:
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, lift your feet off the floor into table top position.
2. Point your toes, squeeze your heels together, and extend your legs forward to about a 65-degree angle.
3. Begin pumping your arms up and down like the flailing joke of a parent you are.
4. Breathe deeply as you count the ways you’ve let your children down, starting with all the times you’ve left them alone for hours, brought home Happy Meals for dinner, and selfishly put your career ahead of their needs.

The Bridge of Sighs:
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
2. Push your hips up as high as you can and hold them there.
3. Squeeze your butt, tighten your abdomen, and try not to buckle under the crushing guilt you feel for losing your temper, forgetting the most basic parenting no-no, and “swatting” your child on the butt.

The Spineless Stretch:
1. Sit tall with your legs straight and spread wider than your hips.
2. Sit up as tall as you can from the base of your spine.
3. Round your back into a C-Curve, reach towards your feet, and marvel at the flexibility of your spine honed through years of taking away their phones for a “fucking month” but giving them back exactly 3 minutes later.

The Single Leg Rear Kick:
1. Lie on your stomach with your upper body lifted so you are supported on your forearms.
2. Bend your right leg to a 90-degree angle, then thrust it forcefully toward your rear with your foot pointed sharply.
3. With each furious, self-flagellating thrust, contemplate your pathetic need to be liked by your child and your appalling inability to set limits.
4. Repeat until you succeed in making contact with your rear or you dislocate your hip, whichever comes first. 

The Bicycle Tumble:
1. Lie on your back and roll your hips up into a shoulder stand position. 
2. Hold your legs in the air and begin moving them in a “pedaling” fashion.
3. Pedal vigorously, the way your 5-year-old daughter did when she rode into the street and crashed into a parked car while you were distracted by your phone.
4. Push yourself, try to put as much distance as possible between you and the memory of your daughter’s heartbreaking shrieks as the ER doctor stitched up the gash in her forehead.

The Double Leg Rear Kick:
Like the Single Leg Rear Kick (see above), only both legs are used for maximum benefit. Ideal for workaholic, super-accomplished parents who missed numerous school plays, teacher conferences and sporting events. 

The Little Swimmers:
1. Lie on your belly with your arms stretched out in front of you and legs outstretched behind you.
2. Lift your right arm and your left leg off the mat. 
3. Begin an even rhythm of swimming, alternating arms and legs.
4. Swim faster, muse about what your life would be like if the condom hadn’t broken, then feel waves of guilt and vow to be the world’s most perfect parent like your wonderful neighbor Bill.
5. Keep breathing, spend the rest of the time thinking about how much you despise Bill.

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