Friday, June 25, 2010

Pilates Exercise of the Month – Round Back/Short Box

Purpose: To strengthen adominals and stretch low back. This is an intermediate exercise performed on the Pilates Reformer with the Short Box. A SAC Certified Pilates Instructor should assist with this exercise.

Position box width wise on carriage. Box can be placed over or pressed against shoulder rests.

Starting Position: Seated upright on box; close to the front. Place feet under the foot strap, knees slightly bent, clasp wrists and place in front of lower abdomen. To prepare- Inhale.
  1. Exhale, round the torso, (roll back), simultaneously lifting the arms away from chest. Still Exhaling, lower the body backward with your torso in the rounded (C curve) position. Inhale, and pause in this position, keep abs scooped in.
  2. Exhale, raise the body so the shoulders are level with hips, maintaining the C curve of the trunk. Then, Inhale, and return to the starting position- stacking the vertebrae and sitting tall.
  3. Complete 5 repetitions.

Neck injuries: limit range of roll back. Shoulder injuries: use a light bar or cross arms across chest.

Head to Toe Checklist:
Keep shoulders relaxed and away from ears.
Feet can be flexed and must be securely hooked under footstrap.
Avoid collapsing the spine when in the rounded position and tiling backward.

Visualization: The rounded position opens the vertebrae, making the spine feel longer. The round back position tips back in an action that resembles pouring tea from a teapot.

Advanced: Hold a pole or light weighted bar straight out in front of you (level with bottom of sternum). As you roll back, lift pole up toward ceiling (overhead) while maintaining abdominal engagement.

Written by Jocelyn Paoli
Stott Certified Pilates Instructor, Seattle Athletic Club Downtown
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