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How to Relieve Tension in Neck and Shoulders

The most common complaint from people I'm working with is that their shoulders are extremely tense. There are many reasons for this. For example:

  • Rounding the shoulders while working at a computer  
  • Bad posture while standing, walking, exercising, driving  
  • Nervousness and anxiety...
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How to Improve Posture with the Thera-Band

I addressed this topic already a few years back (as you can tell from this video of my younger self). We always seem to be in this rounded or hunched position all day and sometimes it seems we live our lives this way. It is really important to strengthen the muscles in the backs of our shoulders....

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Are You Cheating in Pulling Straps on the Reformer?

Also called Pulling Ropes, this is one of the few prone exercises on the Reformer and it’s not too hard, so it should make it into almost every Pilates class, especially for beginners.

There are 3 main ways people tend to cheat during this exercise. Let's look at each of them and explore...

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How to Maintain Control of Standing Arm Work Facing Out on Trapeze Table

Standing Arm Work Facing Out strengthens the shoulder stabilizers and arms. It also improves core control by strengthening the oblique abdominals. 

But we can't get any of these benefits if we lose control of the movement.

How do you know if control is lost? Allowing the momentum of...

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Getting the Details Right in Supine Scapular Series on the Trapeze Table

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...

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Pilates Exercises To Improve External Rotation of the Shoulder

External shoulder rotation is when the humerus rotates away from the center of the body. This skill is key to great posture and keeping your shoulders healthy.

Exercises that externally rotate the shoulder strengthen the infraspinatus, teres minor (two of the rotator cuff muscles), as well as...

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Connecting the Upper Body to the Core

Seated Push-Through on the Trapeze Table is a great way to get the spine and shoulders moving, and your core activated. There are so many good reasons to practice this exercise like improved thoracic flexion, shoulder strength, and hamstring flexibility to name a few. 

A major benefit that...

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How To Keep Neck Tension Out Of The Chest Lift

We curl the head, neck, and shoulders up so often in Pilates. Unfortunately, neck tension goes hand-in-hand with this movement for many people. How can we prevent this? Let's look at the Chest Lift on the Mat as an example. 

Interlace your fingers or nest one palm in the other palm so you...

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Pilates Exercises for Shoulder Protraction and Retraction

Your shoulder blades need to be able to move apart (protraction) and towards each other (retraction). 

The muscles required for protraction are your serratus anterior, the ones responsible for retraction are your rhomboids and middle trapezius.

Some of us tend to either squeeze our scapulae...

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How to Lift Your Arms (Using Scapulohumeral Rhythm)

Should you keep your shoulders down when raising the arms overhead?

Careful, this might be a trick question.

Your initial respone might have been. Yeah, duh! Of course! Shoulders should never by up by your ears.

Weeeeeellllllll........

Overhead arm movement might be a bit more complicated than...

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