What It Is:
To create true functionality in our bodies we must have a balance of stability, strength, fluidity and flexibility. As we have seen in many of my previous posts, this concept of balancing the muscles and therefore the body is the core of the Pilates system.
In Pilates we do not group our exercises into categories, some for flexibility and some for strength. Instead, every exercise in Pilates is for both flexibility strength at the same time. There is efficiency in every move. We get the best bang for our buck.
The upper back, just like any other part of our body, needs this balance. If our upper back is not functionally balanced, we will be brought to the extremes of either being hunched and rounded over or arched back so that our natural convex thoracic spine is distorted into a concave shape. We want to keep our spines in that perfect area right in the middle.
Here are two Classical Pilates Mat Exercises to help you find that balance. If any of these cause discomfort or pain, go back to the previous articles on the upper back and keep practicing the pre-Pilates exercises in those entries.
Exercise – Swimming
For a more advanced version: