We’re jumping past our lateral flexion and other spine warm-ups for now because we feel the concepts implemented by this surprisingly difficult exercise translate to so many repeated ideas in the rest of our mat work. Even the other spine movements where our legs are lengthened.
If your hip flexors are doing the work, we need to change things up. While this is a movement that is only officially moving the legs…THIS IS PILATES! So the “powerhouse” (or transverse abdominals) should be doing the work to make the magic happen.
SLIDE the feet as your abdominals pull your legs to bend. This will take the work out of the hips and IN to the powerhouse.
A major goal in our method is “disassociation of movement” which simply tells us that just because one limb is moving, doesn’t mean the rest of your body should be wiggling around.
ENGAGE the whole body- the shoulders should be actively drawn, the ribs should be pulled back, the belly-button is pulled toward the spine and we have a “kiss” in the tush to keep the hips from moving AT ALL as we move the legs both independently and/or together.
THE BIG TAKE AWAY
Even the most simple seeming movements are full of consciousness and engagement- as a result, even the most seasoned Pilates practitioner should be able to take an amazing workout from a class labeled “basic” because in any given class (or moment of your day) you shouldn’t ever be mindlessly sitting idle.
How are you mindfully engaged to improve your day-to-day movements? Where can you implement the Pilates principles used in your Mat classes?