Now, lets get to the good stuff! The move of the month for June is the pilates swimmer.
This is an excellent exercise to primarily work the lower back, but it also requires full body strength. We often neglect the lower back in favour of a few more crunches, but it so important to balance opposing muscle groups. We spend a lot of time in flexion in pilates, so we always want to make sure we work on extension.
Make sure you check with your doc before you begin any exercise program.
- Lie down on your stomach with your legs together.
- Extend your arms over your head and ensure that your shoulder blades are pressed down so that they are away from your ears.
- Inhale and as you exhale, contract your abdominals and lift your arms and legs off the floor as high as you feel comfortable always reaching through your centre.
- At the same time, energise through both your arms and legs to feel the extension through the back as your head gently lifts off the ground. Keep your neck neutral (pictured).
- In this position, you are going to move your right arm/left leg, then your left arm/right leg by pumping them quickly up and down to simulate "swimming".
- During the exercise, you are inhaling for a count of 5 and exhaling for a count of 5.
- Do 3-5 cycles of the 10 count.
- Try working with just one half of your body. If you are a beginner, you may want to only lift your upper body and arms. If you have neck or back issues, just try using your lower body.
- If the breath is to challenging, just breath normally.
- You can slow the exercise down by just lifting and lowering the opposite arm and leg.
Be honest, do you tend to skip workout for the back so you can fit in more abdominal exercises?