Relieve my spine and intervertebral discs – The Thread The Needle Exercise

Pilates Thread the Needle Übung Körpertraining Körperarbeit Wirbelsäulen Rekonditionierung Rehabilitation Bandscheiben entlasten

Charleston Samu Rii Marquis CSRM

On all fours! Let’s take a break from being so upright and stiff all the time! Let’s allow our spine to breathe deeply. This is wonderfully possible in the quadruped position! Unfortunately, we humans move into the quadruped position far too seldom. Paradoxically, however, it is precisely this position that is excellently suited to realigning our spine.

How to realign our spine and make our back more resilient? Watch the video below to find out. Click now, lean back and enjoy!

Off we go! Let’s explore the stabilisation of our spine in quadruped position while our upper body is rotating. What for? Why is the Thread the Needle exercise of benefit to our spine?

Relieving pressure and pain

The Thread the Needle exercise

  • relieves strain on our intervertebral discs
  • relieves pain between our shoulder blades
  • reduces sinking in our lower back when sitting and
  • improves our kinaesthetic awareness – that is, our sense of movement – for example, in Pilates exercises such as the Saw and Twist.

By the way, science also confirms that the quadruped stand is a really beneficial position for exercises that aim to rehabilitate, recondition and reorganise the spine and back. The reason for this is that our hands and knees are fixed on a firm base when we do this. In technical terms, we call this a closed kinetic chain exercise.

Now, on to you. On our hands and knees!

Starting position

Get into the quadruped position and make your neck and spine long.

The procedure

Inhale through your nose, count to 3 and hold your breath for another 3 seconds. Exhale through the mouth and count to 6 while implementing the ABC principle
A – pull your navel to your spine
B – lift your head through your 7th cervical spine
C – pull your shoulder blades down towards your pelvis
In the same breath, rotate your chest and head and ‘thread’ your right arm below the midline of your torso. Stay in this position, breathe in and out naturally through your nose and count to 3.

As you inhale, rotate your chest, head and right arm away from the centre line of your torso in the opposite direction – towards the ceiling.
Repeat 7 times on each side.

Support your bodywork mentally and use our coaching keys.

Coaching keys

Say them and imagine them …

  • “I maintain the elongation of my body throughout the movement pattern.”
  • When ‘threading’: “I’m moving my arm and upper body in one unit.”
  • During the ‘unthreading’ I make sure that I take pressure off the side of my body that I’m leaning on: “I’m pushing away from my wrist, shoulder joint (specifically my upper trapezius) and knee.”

Another little mental training tip: Practice pronouncing the coaching keys in the video right below so that you are excellently prepared for your own training. Surprise your Pilates coach and share the trick with your friends!

And last but not least …

Where do we feel the Thread the Needle exercise?

In the shoulder girdle and the lateral sides of our ribcage. Do you sense it?

Try it & fly with it!


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