Bend It Like Bodyhood!

Pilates Roll Over Trainingsoptimierung Steifheit in Nacken und Rücken Brustkorb Prävention Achtsamkeit Mindfulness kinästhetische Wahrnehmung

Charleston Samu Rii Marquis CSRM

How would a tree feel if its branches could not sway and dance with the wind? Imagine the effect this would have on its roots. If you can imagine that, then you can imagine what it’s like for your neck and back muscles when you lie on your back, swinging your legs over your head and your spine doesn’t bend properly.

You may not even have to imagine it because as a Pilates student you have certainly felt this stiffness in your spine. For example, in exercises like the Roll Over. But what causes this immobility in our spine when bending?

3 disturbing factors when bending

Pilates Roll Over Training optimisation Stiffness in neck and back Chest prevention Mindfulness kinaesthetic awareness

These 3 conditions prevent us from doing exercises like the Roll Over or the Jackknife with joy and ease. When we

  1. are stiff in the shoulder and neck area.
  2. hold our breath when rolling up.
  3. push our lower abdomen out instead of pulling it inwards when rolling up.

These 3 factors influence the mobility of our dorsal and cervical spine. Relaxation of the muscles in our back and neck area is prevented and effective and functional flexion of our spine is made more difficult.

How do we deal with these disruptive factors? Well ..

Bend it like Bodyhood

I will show you 4 simple and effective learning tools to help you relax your back and neck muscles. We will then achieve a fuller and more complete flexion in Pilates exercises like the Roll Over and Jackknife.

Watch the learning tools in action in our vlog below. Click now, sit back, enjoy and learn!

What do you see in the video?
00:30 Learning Tool 1 – Experimenting with breathing
01:30 Learning tool 2 – Experimenting with the legs
01:40 Learning tool 3 – Experimenting with the knees
01:50 Learning Tool 4 – Experimenting with the head
02:05 Factors that make the Roll Over difficult
02:40 Summary of the learning strategies

4 learning tools for effective bending

Lie in supine position on the mat with your legs extended. Bend your knees and stretch your legs upwards at a 90-degree angle. Lift your legs and hips off the floor and place your weight on your shoulders. Keep your legs in the air, parallel to the floor. Try to find a position that is as comfortable as possible.

Learning tool 1
Stay in this position. Be mindful. Work on getting into a calm state of mind – keeping your lower abdomen free of unnecessary tension and balancing your breathing rhythmically. Stay in this position until your breathing is calm and you feel physically and mentally balanced.
Follow this in the video from min. 00:30.

Learning tool 2
Experiment with bringing your legs towards your head when you exhale and away from your head when you inhale.
Follow this in the video from min. 01:30.

Learning tool 3
Put your hands on your knees and press your knees gently against your hands for 20 seconds.
Follow this in the video from min. 01:40.

Learning tool 4
Put your hands behind your head and lift your head off the mat for 1 minute.
Follow this in the video from min. 01:40.

Now bring your feet onto the mat – this should be noticeably easier than usual. I am confident that the Roll Over will be much easier for you now. Try it out like our students in the video below.

Expanded awareness in a few minutes

By implementing these 3 learning strategies you will be able to physically express yourself in exercises such as the Roll Over and Jackknife and fully enjoy the relaxing effects.

In a nutshell, the 3 learning strategies for effective inflection:

  1. We balance our breathing rhythm to relieve our chest.
  2. With our hands we press against the knees to relax our back muscles.
  3. We lift our head away from the floor to facilitate rolling.

By the way, you can find another help for the Roll Over in partner work here.

Try it & fly with it!


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