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If you are looking a for a quick pilates reference, take a look at this pilates animation. This a quick & easy, clearly explained diagram of the pilates mat exercise: Classical Pilates for Beginners:
Roll Like a Ball. Pilates exercises focus on breathing, alignments of the spine & build strong torso muscles.
Setup for Roll Like a Ball:
* Sit tall on your sit bones.
* Form a bracelet grip with one hand around the other wrist, and hug your lower shins to your body.
* Look down to your navel, and maintain your back in an even C-curve.
* Scoop your abs; clench your butt and roll your shoulder blades away from your ears.
Action for Roll Like a Ball:
* Breathe in to roll back.
* Breathe out to roll up.
Classic Pilates Cueing:
* Exhale down! Inhale up!
* Keep your curve!
* Stay zipped, and keep your eyes on your belly!
* Massages the spine.
* Warms the Erector spinae muscles (either side of your spine) into working at their longer range, ready for further spinal stretches, avoids trigger point related pain later in your workout.
* Scoop your abdomen in and up.
* Concentrate on an even C-curve rather than maximally bending you back.
* Shoulder blades down.
* Eyes on the belly! -Keep your head off the floor!
Don't let an injury or weakness stop you! There is always a modification. Take your time and find the right one for you. If in doubt, seek advice!
* Eye problems, severe disc problems, Osteoporosis, sit tall and use left hand model.
* Low back pain, use right hand model.