This spinal rotation exercise is a wonderful movement that incorporates nearly every muscle group. It can be done on the mat, seated with legs out long. It can also be done on the mat with a resistance band laced over the bottom of the foot. This exercise is demonstrated in the photo is done on my magical reformer.
To begin this exercise, prepare with a deep Inhale, expanding the ribcage 3-dimensionally filling the lung cavity and expanding the diaphram. Upon exhale, squeeze the inner thighs towards each other, engage the core, keep the pelvis steady, and using your breath to help as you begin to pull one arm to a bent elbow, the rotation also begins at T-12, close to where your lowest rib meets the spinal column. Your alternating sides and your gaze is following the moving elbow, therefore incorporating movement from the cervical spine. Moving slowly, with concentration and control will create better body awareness and overall stretching sensation through this exercise. This movement makes me feel like I have had a "Pilates cocktail." Enjoy!
When you breathe, you have to think about moving the breath efficiently and with awareness. The body is able to bring in a flow of oxygen necessary to feed the muscles. This helps prevent unnecessary tension and also helps with creating sense of relaxation. A strong, controlled, and relaxed breath pattern helps to encourage body awareness, mind-body focus and concentration. It also helps create a natural tempo through all exercises.
BREATHING PRINCIPLE ACTIVITY: Awareness to your Breath Pattern
Begin by lying on back, breathe smoothly, noticing natural breath pattern.
Ask yourself, Is breath going into abdominal cavity (belly, core, stomach), upper chest (fill the lungs with air), sides of rib cage, back of rib cage?
Experiment with breathing to the belly first, then chest. Try the opposite way too by breathing into the chest cavity first then the belly. Be sure to focus on breathing 3-dimensionally, forward, back, and sideways.
RIB CAGE PLACEMENT PRINCIPLE ACTIVITY: Rib cage control
Lay on your mat and find a neutral position with your shoulders relaxed and feet flat on the floor with the knees bent. Begin with an INHALE through nose, feeling sides and back of rib cage expand. Followed by a deep EXHALE through pursed lips, pressing almost all of the air out, with control allowing rib cage to close.
3. Pelvic Placement
There are two good places for the pelvis to be during the Pilates workout,
1. Neutral Placement which maintains the normal curve of the lower back.
2. Imprinted Position, in which the lower back is engaging toward the mat.
It is important to be able to find and maintain the structural integrity of the spine and control while moving through the Pilates exercises.
PELVIC PLACEMENT PRINCIPLE ACTIVITY: Rocking your Pelvis, Pelvic Tilts
Laying on the floor, begin to rock your pelvis by alternating arching lower back off floor and pressing lower back into floor. Your "neutral placement" will be somewhere between the two, when the hips and ribs are steady and there is little "mouse house" behind the natural curve in your lower back.
HEAD & NECK PLACEMENT PRINCIPLE EXERCISE: Head Nods
Without lifting the head and shoulders off the mat, tuck the chin down towards your check making a "double chin". Do not jam your chin into chest, do not lift your head, you are simply stretching the cervical spine by creating space in the neck bones.
SHOULDER STABILITY PRINCIPLE EXERCISES: Ring Squeeze
While standing, INHALE as you prepare EXHALE as you squeeze the ring with all your might creating a strong core, make sure your shoulder are level and engaging by sliding on the back body.
Thank you STOTT pilates for teaching me the 5 principles of Pilates. From what I have read and researches, there are many "Principles" of this exercise and anywhere you look, you will find different focus, but they all good. For more information about STOTT's 5 Basic Principles, please follow the link. http://www.merrithew.com/stott-pilates/warmup/en/principles/five-basic-principles
Disclaimer: I am not responsible in any manner whatsoever for your actions and what may occur through following the instructions for any shared information on this website. I am not a nutritionist. I am a permaculture cook and foodie sharing what I love to create in the kitchen. I also enjoy eating a nutrient dense diet and take the time to research the foods I eat. I want to share this amazing information with you. Enjoy, with a grain of real salt!