To a person unfamiliar with Pilates, Supine Scapular Series can seem like one of those “I’m not doing anything” exercises. This is due to its small range and deep focus on details.
Getting the details just right helps to improve awareness of your shoulder alignment, scapula mobility and posture, and can even help decrease neck and shoulder pathologies.
This exercise teaches the student how to differentiate the arms from the shoulder blades and the torso, while at the same time integrating them in a functional way. It builds a strong connection of arm-to-torso which is an important foundation for any other more challenging upper body exercises. Especially for anyone who’s suffered a shoulder injury, this will build joint congruency and stability.
This series may look subtle on the outside, but clearly, it holds a lot of power. The next time you practice Supine Scapular Series, keep these tips in mind:
- Widen your back ribs and melt them into the mat.
- If your front ribs are flaring elevate your head with a pillow. This will naturally allow the rib cage to sink down.
- During elevation keep your scapulae wide (no retraction).
- Lengthen your arms away from your shoulder blades.
- Spin your elbows out when pushing the bar up. Spin your elbows in when pulling the bar down. (“Up and out, down and in.”)
Are you going to practice or teach Supine Scapular Series this week? What are your favorite tips for this exercise?
In the Pilates Encyclopedia, we look at every detail of Supine Scapular Series, from head to toe, to help you get the maximum benefit from this exercise.