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Pilates for Your Spine

“A Man is as Young as his Spinal Column”

That quote from Joseph Pilates grabs our attention right away (and, of course, we’d include anyone in his statement, not just men!)

Flexion is a posture many of us are all too familiar with—hunched over, peering into our smart phones far too often throughout the day. With our heads down and curving our shoulders and upper back, it’s no wonder we see more and more people looking for spine health answers.

To combat this repeated flexion, you need extension. Extension is the opposite posture position of flexion, with your back arched, and Pilates is great for that. Pilates just helps us move better, and the truth is, most of us could use some extension work.

There are several good traditional Pilates extension exercises. One of my favorites is called Swan Prep:

Lie down prone (face down) with palms positioned under your shoulders, elbows tucked in.

With your head in line with your spine, inhale to lift your chest, head and neck a few inches off the floor, without using your arms. Breathe out to return to starting. Repeat 3-5 times.

Same move, but bring your upper body halfway off the floor. This time slightly engaging your arms. Repeat 3-5 times.

Lastly, if the 1st two moves felt good, do the same move but fully engage your arms by straightening them. If you have low back problems or bone density issues you should stick to doing just steps 1-3.

This move can strengthen your back muscles as well so make sure you tighten your core when you exhale. Think of it as a hug for your spine. Take time out of the day to work on you. Your back will thank you!

About Brittany Fox

Pilates Trainer Brittany enjoy all things Pilates and being able to bring those health related benefits to the community. It’s great to introduce members to Pilates exercises and help them to feel empowered to take what they’ve learned to improve on their fitness goals.

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