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Pilates Exercises

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A few tips for the starting position of basic back extensive Pilates exercises to help strengthen the upper back and the back extensor muscles and also to help correct your posture.

So these exercises, depending what class you take, are sometimes called different names, such as breaststroke lift, back lift, Cobra prep, or diamond press. So all of them require the same starting position to help support the lumbar spine before we perform the movement.

Lying in a prone position, make sure the abs are gently drawn in just to help support the lumber back. Glutes slightly engaged and legs parallel. The head position is also important, so your nose needs to be towards the floor as opposed to the forehead or the chin. The arm position needs to be comfortable so that you’re not lifting or shrugging the shoulders. Get a gentle sense of width across the front and back of the chest as you extend into the exercise.

Diamond press is another Pilates exercise to help strengthen the back extensive muscles in extension. Lying in the prone position with the fingertips together and the forehead resting on the back of the hands, inhale, extend the head, neck, and upper spine. Exhale, bring the fingertips to the forehead, bringing the elbows off the floor, alternating sides. Inhale to return back to the start position.

Cobra prep is a great Pilates exercise to help strengthen the upper spine. Inhale, extend the head, neck, and upper spine. Exhale, straighten the arms, draw the shoulders away from the ears, and open the hips. Inhale to bend the elbows and come back to the floor. Cobra prep with rotation of the upper spine. Inhale, extend the head, neck, and upper spine. Exhale, lift the hands in line with the ears. Inhale, rotate the head to look at the hands on both sides. Exhale, return back to the center. Inhale to return to the start position.

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