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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:
Wall Push Ups. Pilates exercises focus on breathing, alignments of the spine & build strong torso muscles.
Setup for Pilates Wall Push Ups:
* Stand in Pilates stance with your toes two foot lengths away from the wall, and place your hands on the wall, with fingers directly in front of your shoulders.
* Scoop your abs; clench your buttocks and inner thighs.
* Lengthen tall, and keep your elbows close in to your body.
* Roll the points of your shoulders back and your shoulder blades downward.
Action for Wall Push Ups.
* Inhale and lower to the wall, keeping your elbows close to your body.
* Hold. Points of your shoulders back, shoulder blades down!
* Exhale to push the wall away from you.
Classic Pilates Cueing:
* Roll your shoulder blades away from your ears.
* Elbows close!
* Works the triceps, stretches the pectorals.
* Activates the shoulder stabilizers (Serratus anterior, lower trapezius, infraspinatus - these muscles constitute the "upper power house").
* Lengthen tall, inhale and exhale fully.
* Relax and lengthen your shoulders out to the side, and roll your shoulder blades down ("activate your upper powerhouse" - diag. left).
* Use a friend to check that your latissimus dorsi is relaxed, and that your shoulder blades do not lift away from your ribs (right hand diagram).
Modifications: Don't let pain or weakness stop you! There is always a modification. Take your time and find the right one for you. If in doubt, seek advice!
* Shoulder pain - "Lower" just half way to the wall.
* Neck pain - keep your neck long and relaxed.