In our daily lives, we spend most of our time shortening (and collapsing) the front side of our bodies. Sitting and slouching, for instance, shortens our hip flexors, pectorals, and abdominals. In our Pilates practice, many of the exercises shorten and contract the front side of our bodies as well. We warm up with supine exercises, like the Stomach Series (Single Leg Stretch, Double Leg Stretch, Single Straight Leg Stretch, Double Straight Leg Stretch, Criss Cross) and variations of the Roll Down. We spend maybe five minutes of a class on our stomachs (prone) when it should be at least a third of the class (the remaining third can be spent on your side or kneeling or standing). As a result, our poor back sides get a little neglected. Don't get me wrong, these exercises can be valuable in regards to abdominal strength. But for a balanced body, we need to equally practice exercises that strengthen the posterior chain and open the anterior (front) side of the body.
Back Control & Leg Pull on the Spine Corrector or the mat is a great way to build strength on the back side of our bodies. Because we don't do this type of exercise very often, it usually feels really difficult at first. And that's exactly why we need to practice it more often : )
Which is your favorite exercise to activate the backside and open the front?
The exercise links within the text will lead you directly to the Pilates Encyclopedia.
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