“A strong spine is a happy spine” - quote from Joseph Pilates, himself.
Pilates also stated that “a man is as young as his spinal column”.
Being able to twist and turn is an everyday demand that we put on our bodies.
Practicing how to do it correctly and conditioning the muscles that promote this movement makes for a happier and healthier you.! FREE VIDEO INCLUDED...
Spinal rotation is so important, as it also prevents injury from the tasks in everyday life that we do repeatedly!
Moving the body in various directions is essential to spinal health. Daily demands force us into certain common positions, but reminding the body to move in multiple ways keeps the back strong and prevents injury.
In a world of texting and sitting, driving, we need to keep our spine healthy by adding rotation to our daily routine!
When you move your body in rotation by twisting the mid thoracic spine (ribcage), this strengthens the oblique muscles that wrap around the sides of your body, while stretching out the other side. (bit like a wringing out motion)
Repeating this movement on both sides improves how far and how quickly you can reach and bend.
In daily life, being able to catch things when they slip, holding your kids for long periods of time, and picking up heavy items like grocery bags all become much easier with strong oblique muscles.
Another benefit to rotational exercises is an increased range of motion – that means more space to move!
If your back is tight, it limits not only what you can do, but how long and how far you can do basic movements in life.
Rotation improves your posture too! Having strong abdominals is important, but all of the surrounding muscles are necessary as well. If the ribs don’t have flexibility and strength, the low back will take on excessive amounts of load and the shoulders will take over.
This makes the body compensate and puts an unwanted strain on to your joints. To avoid this, rotational exercises simply give room for the spine to elongate and stand up taller with less pain and fatigue.
Lets try this exercise - watch the video below.
Muscle Focus: Abdominals, obliques.
Objective: Strengthen obliques and back extensors, increase thoracic spine.
Start Position: Ground the sit bones into the mat as you lengthen your spine upwards, the knees are bent and the soles the feet connected. The feet should be quite a distance from the body to allow a feeling of space in the hip joint. (long frog)
Arms are folded in front of your chest in a Cossack position, elbows down away from shoulders.
If this position feels unachievable please sit on a cushion to help with the alignment of your body. (this exercise can also be done sitting on a chair)
Inhale: Prepare the body to move
Exhale: Initiating with a turn of the head, sequential rotate the spine to the right, (head, neck, chest) maintain the position and stability of the pelvis.
Inhale: Continue to lengthen the spine, initiating from the centre rotate the spine again back to the start position ( chest, neck, head) now repeat around to the left.
*continue 5x on each side.
Precautions: Maintain a grounded and stable pelvis.