It’s actually easy to get this exercise wrong. Whilst spine twist is a beginner’s Pilates exercise, it can be easy to rely on the wrong muscles and not use this as a core exercise at all. You should feel as if you are literally twisting your spine. Most of the time people new to Pilates will move with the arms in order to propel the body, instead of the other way round.
Start by sliding your shoulder blades down your back (keep them down for the rest of the exercise) and think about just leaving your arms just hanging there. Now you can focus on your abs. For this beginner’s Pilates exercise it’s all about the oblique muscles. These muscles give you the rotational movement. Slowing down the exercise and thinking about the basics is a great way to work on beginner’s Pilates exercises.
By the way, did you know that the obliques are part of your abs? They run between the bottom of the rib cage and the top of your pelvis. There are two layers (internal and external) which play a role in keeping your internal organs in place (on a very practical level, that’s what your abs are about).
As you twist to the right, the right internal obliques and left external obliques contract and give you the work and movement. That makes this the perfect beginner’s Pilates exercise for love handles.
Now you know that, get twisting.
How should the beginner’s Pilates spine twist exercise look?
As you perform this exercise, it should feel like a lovely controlled movement. During the movement, you arms stay still and you glide and rotate in each direction, from your core muscles. Most of all, if you are doing it properly, you will feel it along the sides of your body and your outer abs.
When you are doing beginner’s Pilates move right, how should the it feel?
It’s as if you are impersonating a corkscrew, twisting from the bottom of your spine, up.
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