Inner Strength Pilates' new video shows how to lengthen the spine using household objects

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Leading Australian Pilates and Barre coach Tamara Gollan provides instruction on how individuals can lengthen their spine using simple everyday objects such as a broomstick or a mop and chair.

Lengthen the spine using Pilates

Pilates can help lengthen the spine

Do this exercise every day and really notice a difference in your posture.

In her two minute and 52 second video titled How to Improve Rotation and Stretch Your Spine - Pilates Workout Gollan takes the viewer very slowly and gently through an exercise which can be done at home or in the back yard within minutes. The benefits of lengthening the spine are greater flexibility, improved posture and reduced back pain.

“This exercise really is a fabulous way to stretch the spine,” she says. “It’s very simple and there is no high-tech, expensive equipment involved – just some objects we all have in the cupboard for house cleaning purposes. The exercise just takes a few minutes to perform. Do it for a few minutes every day and really start to notice the difference in the way you walk and move around.”

Explaining the routine further in her blog post titled Pilates Workout to Improve Rotation and Stretch Your Spine, and which can be accessed via her website, Pilates and Barre instructor Gollan advises viewers to sit right at the very edge of their chair, ensuring the legs are wide apart.

She then advises lengthening the body through to the crown of the head and placing the broom or mop behind the neck. The item should then sit on the shoulders with palms facing the ground.

Next, lengthening through the palms of the hands, individuals should take a deep breath. Without moving their hips it’s time to twist as far down as possible on the one side – at the same time keeping the knees motionless.

Breathing out, the body should then dip down towards the inside of the knee. The other side of the body should then lift up. After that, it’s time to inhale, sit erect and breathe out again.

“There’s actually four movements involved in this," explained Pilates instructor Gollan. “Firstly there is the twist and inhale motion, then there is the movement where you dip down but keep reaching up through the side of the body. Movement three is when you come back up, and the last movement is all about untwisting.”

Gollan advises that although the exercise looks reasonably easy, there are ways it’s possible to go wrong. These include:

  •     Lifting the shoulders. The shoulders should remain relaxed and down away from the ears. To achieve this it’s a good idea for individuals to attempt to push their knees as far behind to the walls behind them as possible while at the same time lengthening through the crown of the head.
  •     Moving the hips. Like the knees these should ideally remain in position. Instead, the body should be attempting to rotate ake sure your hips don't move. And then you try to rotate through the spine and stretching through the side of the body.

Inner Strength Pilates in King William Road, Adelaide offer individualised Pilates classes as well as Barre and Reformer exercises. They specialise in Pilates during pregnancy, and in post-natal care. But they also tailor exercise classes towards improving athletic performance, posture and even such conditions as headaches and insomnia.

Potential clients can discover more information on the exercise routine and Inner Strength Pilates itself, as well as Barre and Reformer exercises, from the company website where their class schedules are also available. News updates are provided on their Facebook page while tips and ongoing class information can also be found on their Google+ pages.

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Tamara Abdilla

Tamara Abdilla
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