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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:
The Side Kick Series: Swimming. Pilates exercises focus on breathing, alignments of the spine & build strong torso muscles.
Setup for Swimming:
* Lie on your front with your arms long and in line with your shoulders, and legs long and parallel behind.
* Nose to the mat, abs off the mat.
* Work your glutes and lengthen your legs away.
Action for Swimming Preparation.
* Lift your head to look at the mat under your finger tips and lengthen.
* Inhale and raise your right arm and left leg, pause and lengthen them away.
* Exhale, lower and switch to lift the opposite arm and leg, pause and lengthen them away.
Action for Swimming.
* Raise your head to look at the mat under your finger tips.
* Inhale for five rapid arm and leg switches.
* Exhale for five rapid arm and leg switches.
* Repeat for a total of 20 switches.
Classic Pilates Cueing:
* Scoop deep! Swim long!
* Lift and switch, lift and switch...
* Works all the "powerhouse" muscles - including those of the shoulders, the abdomen and the buttocks.
* The entire torso stays long.
* The back of the neck stays long.
* Keep the arms and legs at an even height. Work for length before you work for height.
* Let the arms move from the shoulder (work the upper powerhouse).
* let the legs work from the hip (work the abs and the buttock muscles).
Modifications: 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!
* Lower back problems - work the arms alone, or work the legs alone.
* Shoulder problem - work the legs alone.
* Neck - Keep the head down.