Mini eCourse – Exercise 19

The Cat Stretch

It’s time to look at the Cat Stretch now. A wonderful exercise to really open up the vertebra of your spine.

Kneel on all fours on your mat to begin. Your hands should be beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips. I often see people naturally wanting to look up at this point. Do not be tempted to do this as the idea is to lengthen your spine following its natural curvature. So look at the floor with your neck lengthened. Keep your elbow joints soft and not locked. Remember that feeling from the scapula stabilization exercises? Your shoulder blades were not sticking out, but were pressed down your back. That’s where we want the shoulder blades to be.

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To start, breathe in wide to the ribcage.

As you breathe out engage the deep abdominal muscles and keep them engaged throughout the exercise. As you exhale roll your tailbone under and allow the spine to curl vertebra by vertebra from the bottom up to the top. Your head will roll under last of all as your chin tucks in.

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Breathe in wide at the top. Then as you exhale steadily uncurl your spine starting at the tailbone and gradually straightening out until your chin lifts last.

Ensure you have returned to that balanced neutral starting position. Your head should not be raised, but looking down and your back should not be dipped down into an arch.

Repeat the exercise slowly with careful control 6 times. Visualise your spine opening out one vertebra at a time.
 

Correct Start / End Position

Wrong Start / End Position

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If you are able to look in a mirror as doing this exercise, you will find that the curve of your spine at the top of the exercise will look unique to you. A nice gradual arch shaped curve is ideal, but as you will see in photo 1 below, years of stiffness in the lower back typically leads to a partially flattened arch and compensation in the upper spine. This is something to gently work on with Pilates over time. Compare with the photo 2 below.

1. Stiff Spine

2. Flexible Spine

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About Pilates

So many people around the world have benefitted from the experience of regular involvement with Pilates. Young and old, super-celebrities, famous dancers, athletes, top-flight sports people… We want to be part of the movement that really opens up the availability of Pilates to help as many people as possible. Now it’s your turn to really get to know a little more about what Pilates is and how it can benefit you. So, we invite you to read on through the sections that follow. From a brief look at the fascinating history of how the technique was originally developed by Joseph Pilates, through details about what the teachings can do for you and how to go about participating. Please take the time to [...] Learn more...

Why buy an MPC course? I could get a cheap DVD!

Yes – you could just buy the latest celebrity Pilates DVD or book. But there’s just no way of knowing what the quality and guidance or structure that is likely to be on offer. We have even found free Pilates video clips on the internet, but if people were to actually try and follow along with them. ? Painful! Whatever else is out there – it all seems so random to us! That’s why we decided it was necessary to have proper, carefully designed, structured Pilates progressions on video for people to follow along with. In addition to the benefits of being able to access the course whenever and wherever you are (with an internet connection), you will be receiving structured [...] Learn more...

Weight Loss

It should always be borne in mind that we should all be concerned with the basics of good nutrition and regular exercise throughout our lives. However, there are times that many of us are affected by circumstances that mean we have strayed above our ideal weight. Weight loss is therefore a matter of carefully adjusting our entire lifestyle to gradually restructure our body. Part of that plan will involve dietary alterations to kick the bad habits and learn to enjoy healthy foods more. Other aspects involve detoxification of our systems, relaxation, proper rest through quality sleep and of course by building into our lives the correct exercise our body craves. So, lets begin … … take a look at the information we’ve prepared [...] Learn more...

Is Pilates easy exercise?

Well – yes and no. Pilates is about careful, slow, gentle movement and not the massive, rapid, demanding actions found in some sports or other exercise disciplines. But whilst it is a gentle form of exercise, the precision and control of body movement required is quite high. This takes careful practise and the development of good muscular strength, control and co-ordination to be able to master the movements. Thankfully, the exercise modules we have designed are very carefully structured to lead you on a journey of physical development. It cannot be emphasized enough that the modules must be followed exactly as presented and practised to steadily build up your abilities. (Naturally – if there is any movement that causes pain then [...] Learn more...

What Can Pilates Do For Me?

This is an easy question to answer, but the end results will not be achieved without effort and close attention to the lessons over a sustained period, so that Pilates becomes a normal part of all that you do in your everyday life. That way you can continually be energised in body and mind; with an ensuing enhancement of spirit. So, to answer the question: When followed correctly Pilates can help you achieve the following:- Release from pain Certain of the exercises demonstrated can help to ease back pain, pain in joints, discomfort and pain encountered during and after preganacy. Take careful note however, that the exercise needs to be focused on the particular pain. You cannot assume that all [...] Learn more...

General Enquiries Form

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How to Get Started With Pilates

Before starting any new exercise regime it is important to be sure you are fit enough and will not cause yourself harm. Our advice to any new student is to have a medical check up by your doctor. Explain in detail to them what you propose to do and make sure they are happy for you to get started. To prepare for Pilates, it's useful to consider clothing, equipment, location and so on. It’s actually very easy to make a start, so don’t be put off. Where to Exercise You will benefit from finding a quiet space to exercise in. If possible, try and shut yourself away in an area which is free of clutter and distractions, where you will not be [...] Learn more...

Registration: -> Enrol Here For Membership of MyPilatesClub <-

NOW WITH 20% DISCOUNT Choose from the membership options below. The options are currently either Beginners Pilates (BP) or Back Care Pilates (BCP). The prices on this page are all discounted and you receive TWO WEEKS FREE, paying only $9 for the first month (that’s less than half price). You will also receive the FREE bonus products listed further down this page. Just click on the JOIN NOW button for the selection that suits you best. If you have struggled with back pain, go for the Back Care option. Otherwise, start off with the Beginners. You will then be taken through a secure transaction process operated by PayPoint.net (Metacharge). Trusting the payment transaction is successful, you will receive a payment confirmation email from [...] Learn more...