The spine is the epicenter of the body and not only carries and transports our nervous system in many ways, but also serves as a thoroughfare for functional performance related movements, as well as general pain-free daily life! In fact, one of Joseph Pilates’ quotes from his book Return to Life is, “You are only as young as your spine is flexible.” The BOSU® Balance Trainer is a fantastic tool to couple both mobility and stability movements to help support a strong spine for life. Here are three moves to play with!
Plank Tree Pose Rotation
This is a wonderful exercise to challenge whole body integrated movement as well as spine mobility and rotation. Place the hands on the dome of the BOSU® Balance Trainer. Find a strong plank line with feet in a “Pilates V” or “pizza slice” position.
Inhale: Slide one foot up the leg to or towards the knee.
Exhale: Rotate the “tree pose” plank knee towards the floor.
Inhale: Return back to plank.
Exhale: Prepare to alternate sides.
Notice: Are you able to slide the toes up to the knee or higher? Do you feel any “stickiness” in the spine during rotation and can you improve your t-spine mobility with each repetition?
Each rep should help “lubricate” the joints and mobilize the spine, while also challenging the right amount of shoulder and core stability necessary to perform the repetitions.
Swan Dive Rocking
Better back extension and connection with the deep longitudinal system are critical to upright posture and defying gravity as we age. Lie prone with the pelvis on the Balance Trainer platform (dome side down), elbows bent and forearms on floor, legs extended back behind.
Inhale: Press off of the arms and lower the legs towards the floor, “rocking” the dome to the rear.
Exhale: Rock the dome back forward onto the forearms.
Notice: Are your shoulders pulled down and away from your ears and your arms fully extended?
Increase range of motion as you feel comfortable and create a bit of momentum to get rocking and rolling.
This wonderful, full body exercise can be done both articulated, as well as neutral. Sit with the heels on the Balance Trainer dome, bottom on floor and arms behind. Keep the legs straight, but not locked out in the knees.
Inhale: Prepare for the movement.
Exhale: Hinge from the hips into a reverse plank and hold at the top.
Inhale: Lift one leg, then lower back to the dome.
Exhale: Lower the hips back to the floor.
Notice: Are your shoulders pulled down and away from your ears? Is your core activated to compliment the movement?
Let the BOSU® Balance Trainer help you and your clients stay strong and supple in their spinous process and joints to help promote long lasting vibrant living!
Erika Quest is the owner of Studio Q Pilates Conditioning in Laguna Beach, CA, is a member of the BOSU® Elite Development Team, a Balanced Body® Master Instructor, BASI graduate, public speaker and instructor for Pilates Anytime.