Pilates chest and hip stretch flow for beginners and intermediate

Lying on the mat face down Pilates stance, pelvis pushed into the floor and the belly tucking into the spine. Keeping your arms at shoulder height either side of the hand directly under the shoulders. Your elbows are connected to the rib cage and the distance between the ears and the shoulders is as large as you can make it.

Depending on your back we practice this stretch with either the legs together or hip distance apart, the wider the legs the more relaxed the lower back. In pilates we recommend beginners to also opt for the option where the legs are hip distance apart. The abdominal muscles are lightly engaged and as we inhale lengthen the spine showing your collar bones to the wall in front and lengthening the crown of the head to the celling. Final stage is to press the hands and for-arms into the mat creating an arch in the back and a stretch across the top of the chest. Keep the hips on the mat and the spine in alignment. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times

We start in the same position as the above stretch following each of the stages apart from the last. The final stage is to press the hands into the mat and lift the body including the elbows. This will in effect lift the hips off the mat and essentially extend the stretch down to the hip flexors and the abdominals. In pilates the pelvis is tucked under to protect the spine, aim to keep the back long. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Pilates chest and hip stretch flow, stretch 1. Starting by lying on your front legs hip distance apart. Bend the knees so that the feet are up to the celling. Take the right hand to the right foot or ankle keeping both hips pushed into the ground and the shoulders square. Push the right foot away stretching the front of the body. Repeat with the left hand and foot. Hold both stretches for 30 seconds. Pilates principles advise the knees to be kept on the ground to avoid hype-compression of the spine.

Pilates chest and hip stretch flow, stretch 2. Repeating the initial position or the as above take the right hand to the left foot. Allow the torso and hip to rotate slightly. Remember to push the feet away. Change slides. Hold both stretches 30 seconds. Make sure in both exercises the shoulder and the ears are separated as the shoulder blades are pulled down the back. To modify this pilates exercise allow the foot to float up to the celling. This changes the pilates exercise from basic to intermediate

Pilates chest and hip stretch flow, stretch 3.Repeat the initial position as above. Take both hands to both feet and push the feet away keeping both hips pushed into the ground and the shoulders square, hold for 30 seconds.

Pilates chest and hip stretch flow is part of pilates stretching series, search stretching for more routines

For more information about pilates and our pilates classes feel free to contact us or drop by our centrally based Barcelona studio.