Joseph Pilates, the founder of the Pilates method, formulated his exercises for all ages and body types. Pilates is a form of exercise that involves stretching and core-strengthening. Each move improves the strength of the core muscle that it targets. In addition to targeting specific core muscle groups, Pilates helps practitioners relieve back pain, improve flexibility and increase the connection between the mind and body. Certain Pilates exercises help strengthen and maintain a healthy back arch. A properly-arched spine helps to support the body and relieve different types of back pain.
Kneel on the floor and place both palms down on the floor. Slowly walk the hands forward while lowering the abdomen to the floor. Lie on the floor facedown with arms stretched on the floor above the head. Place both palms facedown in line beside either shoulder. Push down into the palms, raising the shoulders from the floor and extending until the arms are straight. Slowly move the head upward until the eyes are directed at the ceiling. Close the eyes and breathe in and out slowly three times. Slowly bend the elbows until the body is lying flat againsts the floor. Repeat the process of raising and lowering the upper torso twice more.
Spine Stretch Forward
Sit tall on the floor with the legs spread open and the back straight. Extend the arms straight forward with palms facing down. Stretch the arms towards the feet until the hands reach beyond the feet. Roll downward toward the feet and slowly exhale while pulling the abdomen toward the back. Inhale slowly while rolling back up into a sitting position. Repeat the process three more times.
Roll down to the ground, lying on your back with the legs flat and both arms flat on either side. Bend both knees and place the feet flat on the ground. Slowly raise the buttocks until the lower back is off the ground. Clasp both hands together underneath the raised torso and push forward to raise the upper torso on top of the shoulder blades. Pull the abdomen muscles in toward the back. Turn both palms upwards and ensure the arms are flat. Raise the head towards the ceiling. Close the eyes and hold the pose from 30 seconds to one minute. Exhale and slowly lower the back toward the ground. Straighten the legs and lie flat on the ground for at least 20 seconds. Repeat the process twice more.
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