The majority of the Pilates exercises I will be showing you will focus on torso stability. This stability is maintained by preventing movement in one part of the body while you are moving another part. To achieve this stability, you must activate your deep core muscles to prevent movement through the spine. This will allow you to move your arms and legs with precision while keeping the rest of your body still and stable.
To activate the core tilt your pelvis so it is in a neutral position and contract your deep abdominal muscles by 25%. This is a small contraction and like blinking you should not be thinking about it too much. If you contract your abdominal muscles fully and really suck them in, that is 100% contraction. Release and try again, reducing the contraction to 25%, it will not seem like much but that core stability is the base for every Pilates exercise. So keep this in mind before you start any of the exercises and if you are half way through an exercise and realise that you forgot or released your core just stop, reset your core and start the exercise again.
It is a good idea to make sure you read through and familiarize yourself with all the information before you start, that way you will know what to look for and what to avoid, and if you suffer from any pain or injury, when to avoid the exercise entirely.
The Half Curl is a simple abdominal exercise that strengthens your core muscles and protects your back while increasing muscle tone.
Hold for two seconds and repeat ten times.
AVOID: Curling your neck too far forward
Allowing your feet to raise off the floor
TARGETS: Upper Abdominal Muscles
BENEFITS: Strengthens core muscles
Increases abdominal endurance
NOT ADVISABLE IF YOU HAVE: Cervical spine issues
That is me done for this week. See you next time.
Images and some content taken from Pilates Anatomy - A Comprehensive Guide - By Dr Abby Ellsworth