Pilates Exercise of the Month: ROCKING

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Purpose:

To strengthen the back and hip extensors; to improve hip flexor flexibility and to stretch the chest.

 

1)  Lie on your stomach.  Inhale, bend the knees and reach back with the arms, taking hold of the ankles and lifting the trunk and legs into an arch.

2) Exhale rock forward.

3) Inhale and rock backward, lifting your chest and pulling back from your ankles.  Keep your navel pressed into your spine.

4) Rock back and forth 5 times.

5) End by releasing your ankles and sitting back to your heels, with your arms stretched long in front of you.  Place forehead on the mat. This position is similar to child’s pose in Yoga.  Comfort is key.

 

Visualization:

Imagine yourself as a rocking horse. Another image is that of a boat rocking forward and backward as it sails through the waves.

 

Checklist:

Keep the head still and in line with the spine.

Maintain scapular stability throughout; keep arms straight.

Create a comfortable rhythm of breath and motion as you rock.

Do not toss head forward and backward to initiate the rocking movements.

 

Note:

This is an advance Pilates exercise.  If you’ve had a knee, shoulder or rotator cuff injury, we suggest a Certified Pilates Instructor guide you through the movement or omit the exercise from your routine.

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