There is a few pilates exercise what would bring relief to your back and spine and improve your posture.
The Spine’s Movement
We use our spine to move forward (flexion), sideways (lateral flexion), backwards (extension) and for rotation.
Remember ! Not to push yourself too hard, a smart stretch must be controlled, gentle and continuous.
Initial position. Sit on an exercise mat and, bringing your feet together, pull your knees to your chest to compress the whole body into a tight wad. Tilt the head to the knees as far as your flexibility allows. Firmly grasp the lower legs with your hands. Get your feet from the floor and hold the balance only with the buttocks. Then:
- Inhaling, gently roll over on your back;
- Exhaling, roll forward to return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Initial position. Sit on an exercise mat and, pulling your knees to your chest and spreading them wider than shoulder width. Place your heels together. Bend the spine over the entire length, so that it takes the form of the letter “C”. Put your hands between your legs and grasp the outside of the foot. Lift the feet on the mat, so that the entire body weight is placed on the buttocks:
- Breathing-in, roll back backwards;
- Breathing-out, roll forward to the starting position and clap twice with your feet. Repeat the exercise 10 times a seal.
3. Rocking Chair
Initial position. Maintaining balance on the sciatic bones (your hip), pull your knees to your chest and spread them shoulder-width apart. Bend the lower part of the spine in the form of the letter “C”. Catch with your hands the tibia bone just above (or under when your legs are raised) the ankles. Straighten both legs at the knees so that they form the letter “V” along with the body:
- Breathing in, gently roll back on the mat, as shown in the illustration;
- Breathing out, roll forward and return to starting position. Repeat 5 times.
4. Extended Legs Back Roll
Initial position. Lie on your back, stretch your arms at your sides, palms down. Raise the straightened legs at an angle of about 60 degrees to the floor or even higher, if it will help you to better keep the stable position of the pelvis:
- Breathing in, raise legs vertically (hip flexion angle of 90 degrees);
- Breathing out, bend your spine, lift your hips off the mat and move then in a direction above the shoulders, while the feet extend above your head;
- Breathing in, lower the legs to the floor (if your flexibility allows) as shown in the figure, and then spread them shoulder-width apart;
- Breathing out: slowly roll back and lower the hips to the mat. After that, continue to lower the legs to the starting position;
- Repeat again, but now start it with the feet shoulder-width apart, and in the 4th phase, when the feet are behind your head, bring them together;
- Repeat 6 times overall, 3 per variant.
5. Controlled Balance
Initial position. Follow Extended Legs Back Roll exercise until you reach the final phase. Your extended toes should touch the mat or come as close as possible to it. Extend your arms behind your head and grab the feet:
- Breathing out, move your hands on the shin/shank of one of the legs, so that one hand is in the area of the ankle and the other covers the gastrocnemius (calf) muscle. Lift the other leg in an upright position;
- Breathing in, let go of the lower leg and return to the initial position of the feet and hands. Repeat the exercise 3 times for each leg. After the last repetition, lower both legs to the mat over your head and gently roll to the starting position of Extended Legs Back Roll
Initial position. Lie on your back, stretch your arms at your sides with palms facing down. Raise straightened legs at an angle of about 60 degrees, or even higher as long as you have your pelvis in a stable position. Gently pull your toes, extending them outward. From this position, the legs are lifted further, bending at the hip at an angle of 90 degrees:
- Breathing in, bend the spine, lift your pelvis and lower back of the mat, without changing the 90 degrees angle at the hip. Now, extend your legs straight up;
- Breathing out, slowly lower the body to the mat. Once the pelvis finds a stable support, again raise your legs straight up (initial position). Repeat the exercise 5 times.