Class #912

Mini Spine Corrector

10 min - Class


Niedra is back with another great mini class demonstrating more ways to open up and stretch the shoulders. Using the Gondola Pole (or broomstick) and the spine corrector, several exercises are offered to help combat the affects of working with a computer all day or driving in your car too often.
What You'll Need: Spine Corrector, Pilates Pole

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

All right. Hi there. Um, these are a few very lovely exercises to loosen up the upper back, loosen up the shoulders. Traditionally they used to be used with a towel. They would call the towel exercises that Joseph Palazzos wanted people to do after they had their morning shower to get themselves ready for the day. I love having my clients and myself do them on a regular basis because it really loosen up the shoulders very, very nicely. Most of us nowadays have tight shoulders because we spend all day long in front of a computer or driving a car and unfortunately the upper body suffers as a result. So placing the stick, it's lovely to work. This could be a broomstick literally, that you could buy from a hardware store.

If you can see a place, the stick just at the base of my shoulder blades and now it's wrapped around. So what's lovely about this position when you work with the stick is it really allows the tip of the shoulder to roll upwards to the shoulder. You can, I can feel my shoulder blades gliding down my back. I'll turn around. Hopefully you can see it's really taking that part of the back and rolling it down and opening the shoulder girdle up. By the way, often when people start out, because it quite stiff if they get the shoulders right, the rest of the spine does all sorts of funny things. It's not necessarily long and pulled in, but at this point I don't consider that important as I'm focusing very much on the shoulders.

So with this lovely lift starting out by just vending from side to side to allow the side body to open up a little bit and at the same time what's lovely with this position is it keeps the shoulders from curling down. So it's really a fabulous, beautiful stretch that kind of is the moment of truth about what's happening with the body. Then just like roll down against the wall, dropping the head and rolling down and rolling back up again. Very enlightening because the shoulders don't help. And even lifting the chest back and doing a little bit of a back bend and coming up. So if you notice, normally when people start to roll down, the shoulders fall forward.

And this means that your powerhouse us to work a whole lot harder and you can't help the role by collapsing the shoulders. And it's a lovely, lovely movement and it's a lovely, enlightening experience. I seem to be into enlightenment today. So big lift, opening up the chest, broadening across the collarbones and coming back. Then going into the twist, I'm holding my hips square the front so they don't move and starting to rotate side to side. So it opens up, stretches the shoulders, stretches the rib gate. My head is following in the direction. So this first part I was holding my hips steady.

Now I'm adding the hips into a, I'm actually ringing up my body from my ankles all the way through the crown of the head. So now full rotation side to side to ring the body out, open it up and free it up with any kinks, oopsy daisy that can be going on. So very nice feeling. Then going into opening the shoulders a little bit more, holding out. It can be a towel. Again, don't underestimate doing these exercises with a towel. Bring the arms up over your head and taking the arms all the way back behind you. Now if you're stiff, you simply widen your arms.

There is a width that anybody can do this movement and it is an essential movement with store health into the shoulder girdle and open up and stretch these very tight muscles that build up right here. This area gets most tight on just about everybody. These muscles get short, so the shoulders are pulled in towards the chest and then people try to solve the problem by squeezing the shoulder blades back. But they don't actually broaden out this area and open and release it so the shoulders can actually sit on the rib cage in a free, wide way so that they sit on the side of the rib cage rather than the front. So this starts to get into that area and open it up. And the beautiful thing is that that area was stretching open quite soon.

So at the beginning people were probably be crunching the shoulders a little bit. That's better than not doing the exercise. So definitely preferable to work with the shoulders, doing whatever is needed and then as the movement increases and there's more range of movement in the shoulders, free up, you start to focus more and more on keeping the shoulders down. And as people get more capable, the hands come closer together. I can't get my hands, I've known people who could go all the way back with the hands is this close and beautiful work. But it's nice also to go to the range where you can't go all the way back but really just test and open up this area, which is something I like to do almost every day myself because it really sets my posture for the day. It frees up the shoulders, it opens up the ribs, it frees up the neck, which means it's easy to walk around in a vertical plane.

So okay, that was the beginning of the stick exercise. And then spine corrector can be so lovely to help open up the shoulders and when you have a client who has based stiff ones lying down, making sure that the neck is nicely supported and the shoulders are wide. And then the hips will be over the edge of the spine corrector, bringing the arms up and checking that the collarbones and why to the arm, the arm pits a sinking down, and then reaching the arms back with the chest open. So you're taking that part of the chest that is usually collapsed. And by putting a barrel underneath it, you're lifting the part of the body that gets tight and allowing it to be challenged and to be opened up in a gentle, supportive way, but in a realistic way that anatomically encourages the skeleton to go back into a more optimum place.

So it allows the shoulders to open, it allows the chest to lift and the body to be supported in this new place. As you get more structured, you can start to hold the ribs down and again, allow everything to open a little bit on a deeper level. So this is a lovely basic, more can be done at any age. Those that are little bit more physically capable can start to do the equivalent of rollback actually taking advantage of whatever size barrel you have. So sitting up nice and tall, just like rolling down and rolling up in the mat can start by bringing the elbow slightly forward.

The shoulders will be broad and then all opening out, letting the chest open, bringing the elbows forward, rolling through the spine and sitting up nice and tall. So there's a few with the shoulders bent rolling through, supporting the back. The Bat is really nicely, um, allow to release into an open back bend because of the shape of the barrel. As you become more advanced too, you have more control of the, the movement. You can keep the elbows wide, which means the powerhouse is more challenge. And as you go back, make sure the next day is long.

So the whole spine is being traction into backbend coming up. The elbows stay wide, which means the powerhouse has to work a whole lot more. Rolling back, elbows wide, opening the chest, stretching through the front, right across here. That area that gets so tight. Making sure that area gets asked to open a little bit. And one more time going into this, seeing if I can open a little bit deeper and different people will have different shapes. Some people are stiffer. This may be as far as that go. And then adding, just like on the form where we do a twist and reach, lovely place to do. This is right here on the spine corrector where you rotate the hips, a nice and steady there. They're held in place and you'll stretch out.

Elbow goes down and come back up twisting. And often the spine will have a natural adjustment if anything is out of place. That's why called Spine corrector. A lot of times people will find, oh my goodness, that tight is Bob in my back. I just had a little crack and I feel so much better now and up. And one more time. Rolling down, rolling down, rolling down, rooting down and coming back up other side and coming back up. So simple, easy takes five minutes, but really so therapeutic to the whole body. So therapeutic to the health of the shoulders. I hope you find it useful.

Enjoy. Thank you.


perfect shoulder warmup, I often feel tight going right onto my Reformer so this was wonderful :)
Thank You Niedra
Oh, thank you! I just rec'd a Spine corrector and this is a nice little routine I can use to open up my shoulders and continue to improve my posture.
Grazie from Italy!
Niedra Gabriel
I just love that you are in Italy and enjoying this class. Prego ( I think this is thank you is in Italian.)
Ciao Niedra!
Grazie is Thank you! Prego is You're Welcome!
Love these short focused routines, Niedra. The twisting oblique movement is especially nice.
Niedra Gabriel
Grazie Pamela, I need to get my italian straightened out for better effectiveness.
and Holly - you are just a busy bee veiwing all the routines, I love it.
This was amazing! What a fabulous spine workout. And in just ten minutes. I can take a break from my computer everyday to do this easily. Thanks so much!!
I am a writer so I cannot tell you how wonderful the stretches work for me after a long day of writing. Thank you thank you thank you!
Niedra Gabriel
You are welcome Stacey, I often spend a lot of, sorry to say, hunched up computer time, so I do know how wonderful it feels to get your body back. Glad the stretches did the trick for you.
Thank you Niedra- I enjoy your teaching so much- your love for your work really shines thru!
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