You are only as young as your spine! Our spines are beautifully designed; on a daily basis we bend, stretch flex and rotate our spine, and our Pilates practice is the best way to honor that design. Spine Extension is a key exercise we teach in the studio to show our spine some love.
Why you need to be doing Spine Extension
The Spine Extension exercise helps:
- Promote flexibility
- Develop core strength
- Identify good body mechanics
How to Perform Spine Extension
There are many types of Spine Extension exercises that we can explore in Pilates, but they all begin with stabilizing before you move. (If you have been in my classes, it’s likely you’ve heard me say this a few times!)
Finding those anchoring points will allow you to move with confidence.
Lying face down, stabilize your pelvis and your femur by engaging your glutes. Legs are long and active (you should feel your heels line up with your hips) and feet are gently pointed.
Draw your abdominals in as if you have an ice cube on your belly as you slowly allow the spring to lift your upper body. Aim your forehead (not your chin) for the wall in front of you.
While you lift, think of EXTENDING your spine instead of bending your spine. Reach from your head to your toes and think “full body integration.” Legs are long and active.
Spine Extension Modification
Start by simply lying prone and engaging those anchor points that will allow your spine to extend with ease.
Katherine Duncan is a certified Pilates instructor at ABC Pilates in Laguna Niguel, California. Katherine believes in Pilates as a way to improve lifestyle and wellness in all people, regardless of current fitness level.
Click here to learn more about Katherine and the other ABC Instructors.