28 Days of Pilates: Day #4

So, how are you feeling after 3 days of Pilates?

Good I hope!

And I hope you’re ready for more because we’re just getting started. πŸ™‚


Today we’re focusing on the upper body.

One thing to keep in mind is that in Pilates (and in life) it’s important to keep your shoulders in their proper place. They should be relaxed Β on yourΒ back, not tensed up by your ears.

In fact, pause right now, sit up straight and relax your shoulders down your back. Doesn’t that feel better?

The shoulder joint is the most unstable joint in the body.

The arm bone rests in a shallow groove Β and relies on the surrounding muscles and tendons to keep it in it’s proper place. So strengthening the muscles of the arms, upper back and chest is very important to avoid injury and keep your bones in place.

As you do this workout remember to keep your shoulders away from your ears.

Think: strong broad shoulders.

Pilates arm exercise

With that in mind, let’s workout!

Today is all about the arms. Oh my, do I need this. Tank top season is just around the corner my friends….(thank goodness).

Day #4 social media check-in: take a photo of your exercise space. Inside, outside, kids crawling all over you? It doesn’t have to be fancy, it’s just for fun and I want to see it! Don’t forget to hashtag #28daysofpilates. I’ll be doing the same.

Enjoy your workout!







disclaimer: these videos were created for individuals in good health. Robin recommends that you speak with your doctor prior to beginning a new exercise routine. By doing this video you do so at your own risk and agree to release Robin Long and The Balanced Life of any and all liability.

  1. Mendy Dew 7 years ago

    Good morning!!! I didn’t hit snooze this morning, so I was able to get my workout in before work today! Oh wow, that was painful and no so attractive; it doesn’t look the same when a big girl is doing it! πŸ™‚ And I completely agree – my right arm was so much stronger than my left.

    • Robin Long 7 years ago

      Nice job Mendy! I know, this one is tough! I intended to make it challenging. But remember you will get stronger as the weeks go on and it will get better. Keep up the good work! πŸ™‚

  2. Liz S. 7 years ago

    Definitely felt my triceps quivering on this one – whew! And yes, I too am stronger on my dominant side (right side). Also felt my obliques working hard in those plank moves.

    • Robin Long 7 years ago

      Awesome Liz! Yes, this is abs as much as it is arms isn’t it? πŸ™‚ Sounds like we all need to work on our left side a bit! Keep up the good work. xo

  3. Nicola 7 years ago

    Whew, that was hard! I definitely need to work on my arm strength, especially the right arm. I only got through the first set of the plank/push-up combo and about half the reps in the other sets; this is the first video I couldn’t get through everything and had to rest in child’s pose.

    • Robin Long 7 years ago

      That’s okay Nicola! I intended to make it challenging so we have something to work toward. Try this again at the end of the month and I bet you’ll be surprised how much better you’ll do πŸ™‚ Keep it up girl!

  4. Stacey 7 years ago

    Wow this has been the toughest workout yet–definitely felt arm muscles I haven’t felt in awhile!

  5. Karen 7 years ago

    So grateful you are doing this Robin! I love that I get a workout in under 10 minutes … I too found it harder on the left side … lol! What about that last exercise? That was so hard … but loving it! Thanks again and looking forward to tomorrow.

    • Robin Long 7 years ago

      The last exercise was Tricep Dips. Hard huh? I think so too! Especially when you use good Pilates form and try to keep your chest lifted. keep up the great work Karen!

  6. Einat 7 years ago

    Hi Robin, wow that was the hardest (for me at least) of the workouts so far… I didn’t even know that my arm muscles are in such a bad shape! well I guess it’s a good thing we are working on it then πŸ™‚

    • Robin Long 7 years ago

      Yes, you will get stronger! And it will feel so good πŸ™‚

  7. Nevaeh 7 years ago

    I have been using this as my pre-lunch break workout. This is great for work from home gals! Thank you!

    • Robin Long 7 years ago

      Oh that’s a great idea. I work from home a lot too so I know how important it is to get up and MOVE every now and then πŸ™‚

  8. sky 7 years ago

    Wowzer that was a tough one! Looking forward to seeing improvement by the end of the month though!

  9. Jennifer 7 years ago

    Oh wow!!! Definitely felt today πŸ™‚

  10. Lena 7 years ago

    Wow! What a burner indeed! Done for yesterday and today! The side tricep presses are hard especially when u have to keep u legs grounded down so that it’s your arm that’s pushing up.

  11. Ahna 7 years ago

    When doing the sideways one armed push-ups, I experienced extreme pain in my hips. I expected it with my left hip because I fell in the shower in June and I bruised the bone. I’m 23 years old 5’2″ and 120 lbs. Why am I experiencing this pain? It was to the point I couldn’t do it, so I added an elbow plank at the end for as long as I could hold it. Help! I’m not a quitter!!!

    • Robin Long 7 years ago

      Hi Ahna, That is a great modification. A perfect substitute for the side-lying tricep push-up. You did the right thing by listening to your body. Any pain is a signal to stop. Some women have a sharper “q” angle (the angle from your hip to your knee) making it uncomfortable to do side-lying exercises. You could try padding your hip with extra blankets or a small pillow. If that doesn’t help then I would continue to modify the exercise so that you can feel good throughout. Great job today!

  12. janelle 7 years ago

    Thank you! Being overweight I felt that one for sure.

    • Robin Long 7 years ago

      You’re welcome Janelle! It WILL get easier πŸ™‚

  13. Venice Scherer 7 years ago

    I can’t believe I have stayed with this for 4 days!! You are amazing!!! Could you please show your feet so I can see what position my feet should be in? That would be very helpful. πŸ™‚ Thanks again!

    • Robin Long 7 years ago

      Great job Venice! I have no doubt you can stick with this the entire month πŸ™‚ And sorry my feet were cut off! I’m changing all of the videos to widescreen. It seems a though YouTube changed that setting. My feet are just stacked right on top of each other in the side tricep pushup.

  14. Megan 7 years ago

    Woohoo! Day 4 done and definitely feeling the burn! I know my shoulders and arms are out of shape, so I’m looking forward to those moves not hurting so much at the end of this month!!

    • Robin Long 7 years ago

      Yes, it will get better! And it will feel good to see the difference πŸ™‚

  15. Ahna 7 years ago

    Thank you, Robin! Hopefully as I become more toned and flexible this pain will dissipate. I’m so pumped about this I’m sharing it with everyone. (My husband even did it today for a warm up.)

  16. Gina 7 years ago

    Triceps are shaking but it felt great! Turns out it was easier on left side than my right. Strange! Thanks again for the quick awesome work out πŸ™‚

  17. Tiffany Roney 7 years ago

    Just wanted to share that I blogged about you today!! http://tiffanyroney.blogspot.com/2014/02/balanced-life-pilates.html

  18. Anneke 6 years ago

    Phew – a toughy but a goodie! I struggled with the Tricep Dips! Is it normal that I found facing my palms inward difficult?

    PS. I’ve only recently found your site and have just started the 28 day challenge – I love your work and your philosophy! It’s exactly what I’ve needed to get moving again so thank you from Australia πŸ˜€

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