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FreePilatesOnline

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MOVEMENT NUMBER ONE - TAKING ONE LEG TO TABLE-TOP


The first thing I have students do is lay flat on the mat on their backs, with their knees bent and feet flat on the mat. Then, keeping the knee bent, I have them lift ONE leg up to a ‘table-top, 90’ position.


Then I have them put that one leg down, and then do the same for the other leg. Lift a leg, put it down. Lift the other one, and put it down.



1) The first time I meet with a student, I have them just do this with no direction from me. The first time people do it, the generally do it quite quickly, jerking a leg up, and quickly putting it back down. Then, without waiting, jerking the other leg up, and then just sort of dropping it back down.


Their hips are usually swaying side to side, and the back generally arches and sways as the legs go up and down. Very unstable usually!!!


2) Then I suggest that my student try to do it slower, and to keep the hips from moving. This is already a new concept for most people - moving a leg without moving the hips and spine! Many people are surprised at how un-accessible this stability is. No matter what they do, their hips seem to move around.


And I am not just talking about some poor middle-aged woman with three kids, who was not fortunate enough to discover her body earlier. Fit people, and even athletes, dancers, and PILATES STUDENTS often have a hard time finding this stability.


How about you? Do your hips and back move around when you lift a leg to table-top? Can you stop those shifts from happening?


What muscles are you using to keep the stability?


AND A VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION - What muscles are you gripping unnecessarily? Are you gripping in your jaw, neck, chest and front of the shoulders as you are looking for the stability in the hips? Are you lifting that bent leg with your neck? Many people do!!!


AND A VERY IMPORTANT ANSWER - THE DEEP FLATNESS


For many people the problem is not strength, it is learning a new engagement. People who do hundreds of traditional crunch/sit-ups are not developing much core stability. That is because stability comes from the flatness of the abdominal muscles - how deeply they can press inside against the spine.

START - PRE-PILATES SERIES