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Pilates Spine Stretch

Date Added: November 14, 2007 12:12:18 PM
Category: Pilates Method

Most people believe that Pilates and yoga are similar – but there is actually a big difference to them. Yoga is something that you do when you are trying to clear your mind of all your worries and stretch out all the kinks in your body. Pilates is more of an exercise routine than yoga. Its goal is not to help you to relax – but to help you work out those hard to reach muscles and to teach your body to be limber. It has some of the best exercises for anyone who wants to get in shape.

Some of the exercises can be hard on your body if you are not used to them – which is why you need to start off small. Don’t over exert yourself and try not to pull anything during an exercise. For example if you were trying to touch your toes and you realized you can’t go down all the way than just go down as far as you can. Each day you do it go down a little farther until one day you have mastered it and you have reached your goal.

Before beginning some of the more grueling exercises we recommend that you start off with the simpler spine stretch. This will help you to stretch and prepare you for what is to come.

First you need to sit up as tall as you can on Pilates mat. Make sure that your legs are fully extended – shoulder width apart – and your feet are flexed. Than you need to relax your shoulders and let the top of your head reach as far up as it can.

Keeping your arms at shoulder height – extend them out in front of you and inhale. If some of you find this difficult than you can place your fingertips in between your legs on the floor in front of you. Lengthen your spine to curve forward and exhale at the same time. This is called the c-Curve.

Keeping your shoulders down and reaching your fingers toward your toes, deeply release your hips. Reach as far as you can (not exerting yourself) and inhale. You want the stretch to feel good on your body.

To return you need to exhale and using your lower abdomen muscles bring the pelvis upright. To sit up you then need to roll up through the spine. This exercise will help you to stretch out your spine and hamstrings.

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