Swinging Warm-Up

Warming up is an essential part of a successful Pilates workout. You want to be sure your muscles are loose to allow you flexibility, and to prevent cramping.
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Directions:

Use this exercise to warm up your spine and back muscles. Be careful not to force your body. Move in slow, controlled motion, as if you were swimming in water. Repeat this movement 20 times.

1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees soft, and reach your arms straight up to the sky. Remember to pull in your abs and inhale.

2. As you exhale, let your arms fall forward and allow your knees to gently bend and your back to arch into a curve. Relax your head and shoulders, allowing them too to fall forward. Note how your spine reacts, feeling each part of your spine as it slowly relaxes and curls forward. Keep your abs tight, and your movement should be a gentle stretch. Eventually your arms will be down to your sides, and gently pull them behind you as far as you're comfortable.

3. From this curled position, inhale and slowly roll yourself back up to the standing position. Each time you repeat this movement, try to stretch toward the sky a little farther, pulling your spine and entire body upward.

 

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