How to Do Pilates Swan Dive Exercise - Women's Fitness

Geo Beats
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How to Do Pilates Swan Dive Exercise - part of the women's fitness video series by GeoBeats. Hi, we're Katherine and Kimberly Corp. We own Pilates on Fifth in Manhattan, and today we'd like to show you the Pilates exercise, Swan Dive. So Kimberly is going to start laying on her stomach. So this Swan Dive is a great exercise for all the muscles of your back and also the muscles of your glutes, as well. That's your butt muscles. And now she's going to start by opening her legs a little bit wider than hip distance, about shoulder distance apart. You don't want to go too wide. Her hands are pretty much under her shoulders. And at the starting position its like you're balancing on the tip of your nose. So really pull the abdominal muscles in and up to start. You want to imagine that you're pulling them off that mat. That may or my not be possible, but its a good image. We want to get that deepest layer of the abdominal muscles engaged first and foremost. On the inhale, we'll do this is in four breaths first just to get the movement right. Inhale. It's like someone's pulling you from the top of your of your head and lengthening. On the exhale she's going to press into her hands lifting up. So we're showing you the easiest version of Swan Dive here. First you go up going into full spinal extension. Inhale. Here to stay, and exhale. It's like the ribs close together, and she's going to lower herself down. So not everyone has this amount of flexibility available to them and that's Ok. Go up half the distance you did before. So she's going to inhale, lengthen at the top of her head. Exhale, pressing up. This is a fine Swan Dive. This is still correct. What you don't want to do are 2 things. 1 is "nuh" the neck. Ya, I mean you don't have to be a Pilates instructor to see that that doesn't really look so great. So just make sure that you're keeping this part of the neck very very long. 2nd thing you don't want to do is to crunch into the lower back. And so just almost make a right angle here. You really want a lot of abdominal support here. The next question we always get is what happens with the hips bones. The hip bones will come off the mat slightly if you have that extension available to you. And then she's going to come down. Now this exercise is a breeze for you, you can do it in 2 reps. So she'll inhale, press into her hands, move the spine into full extension. We're really working all the muscles of the back here, working the glutes. And then exhale, coming down. And just one more. Notice that the feet aren't doing anything. They are not lifting up the mat. Inhale coming up, and exhale closing the ribs to come down. And of course the abdominal muscles stay engaged the whole time. And then its always nice after you do this exercise to bring the legs together and just press back and relax the lower back. It just feels really really nice, moves the spine in the opposite direction. And that was the Swan Dive.

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