This week we are building from the basics of Rotation with Pilates in week 3 to the more advanced Classical Pilates exercises involving Rotation of the spine.
The two exercises demonstrated today, ’The Saw’ and the ‘Side Bend Mermaid’ follow the same principles of pilates described in week 3.
As the exercises become more demanding with a bigger range of movement these pilates principles become more important.
Alignment is key. These fundamentals are a neutral pelvis, abdominal recruitment to support this, and thoracic breathing, to maintain trunk stability and ensure the neck and shoulders remain free of tension.
In the movement phase we bring in the use of the powerhouse which maintains support and alignment of the frame during the exercise. Opposition further strengthens the powerhouse and ensures the moving muscles work with length and strength. This is how Pilates is renown for its benefit of developing long, lean muscles.
When moving on from basic or simple movement patterns as in weeks 1 – 3, it is important to keep the movement small. Pilates works from the inside out,so the exercise itself works to challenge the powerhouse. As a movement becomes bigger or more advanced, the powerhouse has to work harder to support the movement and maintain alignment.
Therefore when beginning these two exercises it is important to keep the movement small until the core or powerhouse becomes strong enough to support the increase in movement.
In an increasingly sedentary world, we can easily lose full movement of the spine.. These two exercises are wonderful for ensuring good spinal movement and both work at a deep level to ensure the rotation isn’t just the arms and shoulders moving, but that the core or powerhouse is actively moving the spine which ultimately prevents stiffness, especially as we age.
Do feel free to contact me if you would like further advice or explanation and as always with Pilates, do speak with your qualified Pilates Instructor first about changing or adding to your routine, to ensure the movements are appropriate to your individual, unique and beautiful body.
KSJ X Asquith