Exercise #5589

Control Balance

5 min - Exercise


Muscle Focus: Abdominals, Spine, Hamstrings

Objective: Maintain the connection of the abdominals to create spinal and hamstring extension.

Apparatus: Mat

Start Position: Begin in a supine (laying down) position on the Mat.

Movement: Bring both legs up to a tabletop position, then extend out and up. Continue this movement until the legs are in a Roll Over position, knees above the face. Lower the legs towards the floor, finding an extension in the back. Arms reach around to hold one foot. The opposite leg lifts away from the face, performs 2 pulses, then returns toward the face, as the opposite leg rises. This series can be repeated, no more than 5 times per side.

Please Note: This is an advanced exercise that places a lot of load onto the cervical spine, so be sure that you are in an advanced place in your Pilates journey before performing this exercise.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Let's go over that control balance. Control balance is a high level advanced Pilates exercised that requires a lot of strength and flexibility and stability. Things to think about in being careful in this exercise is it does put up fair amount of load. In fact, a lot of load on the cervical spine. So if people have upper back challenges or cervical spine neck challenges, this is an exercise that is to be avoided.

Because it is such an advanced level exercise, it's it's good to wait until people are at a level which they can be safe in attempting and also performing this movement. Places in the body that are important to keep in mind are the flexibility of the spine and also the strength and flexibility of the hamstrings or the hip extensors because those two things will limit availability of these this exercise for people. So we need a lot of back extensors strength. We need a lot of hip extensors strength. We need to have a healthy neck and we need to be advanced enough to feel that we are in control of our bodies when attempting such a difficult exercise.

Because of the skill level involved in this exercise, it's probably not an exercise where you're gonna do a lot of reps. So we wanna get into the position. We wanna find a really well established start position, we might do 1 or 2 just very slowly making sure the person has enough control and understand the movement pattern at least initially. And then maybe once people are more well informed in the movement pattern in their body. I see 5 probably. I imagine maybe 5 to each side is enough.

To make it a difficult challenge, and it's it's just definitely not an exercise where you're gonna be up on your neck for a extended period of time performing multiple, multiple repetitions. With all that being said, let's take a look at the exercise and I'll give you a little bit more detail as we do that. The first thing to do is to come down onto the mat center yourself in the mat and roll back. So the exercise begins in a supine position. From a supine position, we bring one leg and then the other leg up away from the ground. The legs go out into an extended position and then up.

So as mentioned before, The person needs to at least have the level of skill to be able to perform with control a simple rollover. Once the legs are over the body, we take the legs towards the floor. Now one of the most important things to think about here is finding the back extensors. So we wanna right away feel the back of the body working now Just by doing that, we're starting already to put a lot of weight down into the cervical spine. So, again, be careful if people have problems in that area of the body. The arms are reach around. Take a hold of one foot.

So as I mentioned before, will go one through one reposite repetition slowly. So the one leg lifts. Now as I'm lifting that leg, I'm reaching it up into the air and also trying to push it away from my face. So it's that away from my face action that helps me really feel the work in the back of the leg and also all the way up and down my spine. When that leg comes down, the other leg will go up.

So when we get into the actual exercise, they'll pass one another by. The leg that's in the air lifts up, up, and pushes away. The hands on the ground hold the foot on the ground. As we go into the the actual exercise, the legs will again pass one another by. There's a double pulse at the top.

So we go pull. Pull. Hold your balance and change. Pull. Pull. Hold your balance and change. You can see where there's a lot of stability involved and a lot of control involved.

We could speed up the tempo once we learn the choreography. We go, pull, pull, and change, and change. We never gonna speed up the tempo until we have the skills set in place. When we're ready to come down, Both leaks come down. The arms can return back to the sides of the body. And then we will just roll down articulating and stretching the spine as we return it to them.

And that is the control balance.


1 person likes this.
That was beautiful! I love that you are doing individual videos on the advanced mat exercises.
Katie S
1 person likes this.
Fantastic instruction!
Christine H so happy to hear that they are helpful!

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Pilates Anytime Logo

Move With Us

Experience Pilates. Experience life.

Let's Begin