Do you feel like you can position your head with ease? Have you ever heard of “chin-to-chest?” Or “move your head towards your 7th cervical spine”? Some of you certainly have! They are helpful concepts, but what do they actually physically mean?
To understand, inner-stand and over-stand head placement, especially in the chin-to-chest position during Pilates exercises, we need to understand, inner-stand and over-stand the movement of our head through the 7th cervical spine.
Our first cervical vertebra supports the weight of our head
So, in all flexion exercises when we lift our head from supine position off the mat, in order to avoid strain, our muscles at the back of the neck (the extensors) must be released and lengthened to allow a near normal vertical position of the head.
What should happen is: As we lift our head off the mat, our chin should move slightly against our throat so that the atlas (our first cervical vertebra) can support the weight of our head. The next thing is for our chest to release allowing the abdominal muscles to contract naturally – done correctly this will not interfere with normal breathing – to anchor our pelvis to our trunk and thereby support the weight of our head.
Once these adjustments are made, our spine should be brought into flexion only through the contraction of our deep muscle corset system and the sliding of our ribcage down towards our pelvis.
In our video right below we show you the movement concept through the 7th cervical spine in various body positions and how it applies to various Pilates exercises.
Understand, inner-stand, and over-stand this, and you will uplift your Pilates training from a “Monkey see, Monkey do”-Pilates, to a “Pilates without Borders©“.
Pilates without Borders©
What you will find in the video:
0:11 Module 1: Clarifying the concept “out of the 7th cervical spine”
0:19 in quadruplet position
0:35 in sitting position
0:55 in supine position
1:25 Module 2: Clarifying the concept “chin to chest”
1:35 in quadruplet postion
2:35 in sitting position
3:20 in prone position
4:06 Module 3: Applying the concepts to a few Pilates exercises
4:25 Pilates Cat Stretch
5:05 Pilates Hundred
6:10 Pilates Spine Stretch Forward
Try it & fly with it!
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