To learn to work with opposition (i.e. lengthening whilst strengthening). To maintain good scapula stability and co-ordination.
Lie prone in a star shape with the arms and legs apart in a star shape. A small head cushion may be placed under the forehead.
Inhale - To prepare
Exhale - To engage the core abdominals and stretch the right leg along the floor until it is as long as possible. Continue exhaling and lift the leg up off the floor no more than about an inch. Simultaneously stretch the left arm forwards and away from the body without hiking the shoulder up to the ear. Raise the arm no more than an inch off the floor. It is length in both limbs and not height that you are aiming for. Try to achieve a sense of opposition here (i.e. lengthening the limbs in two opposing directions whilst maintaining a strong core centre). In addition, also lift the head off the floor at the same time as the arm and leg lift. The head only lifts a few inches and the eyes are looking down to the floor so the back of the neck remains long
Inhale – To lower the body back down to the floor again. Repeat with the opposite limbs
Core Abdominals, gluteals, scapula stabilisers
Lying prone may be uncomfortable for certain back problems. Try putting a small cushion or rolled up towel under the abdomen to support the back.
This is one of Joseph Pilates original 34 exercises in the classic repertoireView exercise >
This mid-back strengthening exercise is great for improving posture and preventing round shouldersView exercise >
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