There are two popular quotes from Joseph Pilates that many are familiar with and if you have never seen them or heard anyone say them here they are:
” You are only as young as your spinal column.”
” If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old. If it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.’
When you really think about it, it makes complete sense. Our bodies/spines are designed to move with freedom not with restrictions. The exercises in Pilates works all the movements of the spine to keep it healthy, flexible and strong.
The spine is worked in extension ( backward bending), flexion (forward bend), lateral flexion (side bending), rotation (twisting). By working the spine in all different directions we create a proper balance and maintain proper alignment and posture.
Before I show you some of the exercises that goes along with each spinal movement, I would like to explain axial extension or lengthening. All the movements in Pilates focus on lengthening the spine or creating space, we do not collapse or sink into the movements. We always want to think of lengthening.
Below are a few of the exercises that goes along with the above mentioned movements.
Chest Lift, Hundred and The Roll Up.
Side Bend Twist, Spine Twist, Criss Cross
*important to note the rotation comes from the spine not the shoulders or neck*
Mermaid, Side Bend.
Swan, Swimming, Leg Pull Up, Shoulder Bridge.
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