Swimming on the Mat
After all the Teasers and doing the Hip Circles I am so excited to flip on to my stomach and Swim! While not my favorite Pilates Mat exercise on its own, it is delicious after all those advanced flexion exercises. However, even if you are not doing all the Teasers and the Hip Circles, Swimming is absolutely essential for our bodies fight against bad posture and shrinking. Due to our lives in front of computers and sitting, the more extension you can do, even if just holding the start position the better your back will be! Are you ready to swim?
Be mindful of how you lift your arms and legs. Don’t rock side to side.
Laying on your stomach with your arms long in front of you and your legs long behind you. I like to spin my legs inward so that my pelvis is nice and wide. It may feel slightly pigeoned toed to you. But, it’s important to be as parallel as possible. It’s easy, especially if your lower back is tight to externally rotate the legs and this will cause a gripping in your lower back. Before you begin feel your lower back get nice and long and your lower ribs pull away from gravity. Remember your arms are connected to your back, not your ears.
Once you have the length in your back and connection to your center lift your arms, legs, and chest off the mat and begin to “swim” opposite arm and leg lifting as much as they can while the other arm and leg reach long. Often, most people will lower one arm and leg and lift the other. But, you are trying to lift your limbs up the whole time. Also, be mindful of how you lift your arms and legs. It’s easy to rock side to side. But, your trunk remains nice and still and connected while your limbs lift and reach out from it. Ideally, you will feel your seat and your mid-back working. Pump your arms and legs as fast as you can for two full cycles of breathing.