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Pilates Exercises To Improve Spinal Extension

teaching trunk + spine Sep 02, 2019

We spend a lot of our time rounding forward. Perhaps as we speak, you're rounding forward to get a better look at your screen. Very few activities in our daily lives require us to bend backward. But our spines want balance! That's why it's so important to spend time practicing spinal extension. 

Spinal extension is when we lengthen the spine upward and backward. The middle back, which is naturally curved backward, moves forward. This allows the front of the body to lengthen and stretch. 

It can be difficult, especially for new students, to find good extension. Pilates gives us many exercises that can help us practice this movement. Here are a few to get you started:

 

Mat
  • Dart
  • Swan
  • Swan Dive
  • Single Leg Kicks
  • Double Leg Kicks

 

Chair
  • Swan On Top
  • Swan From Floor

 

Spine Corrector
  • Reach
  • Seesaw
  • Swimming

 

Ladder Barrel
  • Dart
  • Swan
  • Swimming
  • Standing Back Bend
  • Bridging

 

Reformer
  • Swan Facing Front
  • Swan Facing Back
  • Pulling Straps 

 

Trapeze Table/Tower
  • Swan

 

To learn each of these exercises and to see even more exercises that improve spinal extension, check out the Programming & Sequencing chapter of the Pilates Encyclopedia. You'll get videos and detailed instructions for each exercise!

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