|As those of you who attend class regularly know, we build up our Find Your Flow® program over a period of six weeks or thereabouts.
In the early weeks, we build strength and find mobility through a range of movements. Later in the program, once we’re ready, we introduce more complex movements, and/or increase repetitions, or add challenge by increasing or decreasing the load on the springs. Incidentally, it’s good to see so many of you gaining confidence to ‘play’ with the springs, to find what’s best for you that day!
In the Rowing program, we have now started to introduce the full Rowing movement. At first glance (if you take a look at the picture above), we may think that it’s all about the shoulders and arms. That’s not wrong, however….
We were chatting recently (we could chat all day about Pilates!) about the focus of the movement. We broke down each of its component elements and what’s needed of our bodies to perform it well. That, of course, led on to a discussion about how we can help clients find the movement in the way that’s best for their body that day.
First of all, we need to be able to sit up tall on the reformer bed. That alone can be quite demanding for some of us, particularly if our lower back or hip flexors are tight. However, we can modify that challenge by sitting on a block, to decrease the amount of hip flexion needed, which in turn, decreases the pull on the lower back.
To start the movement, we need to slide off our pelvis into a spine curl (although we can do that in a hinge movement for those with osteoporosis). We need to hold that position – making demands on our core control – while controlling our breathing.
Now we get to the shoulders! There’s some choreography involved, which calls for good proprioception (awareness of where our body and particularly our extremities like fingertips are, without being able to see them!) While we rotate our shoulders and use arm strength and mobility to work through the movement, we’re also using our core and length through the front of our body.
It may seem very obvious, but as with many movements, breath control is important to help us flow through the movement.
So, as with many Pilates movements, there’s quite a lot packed into it! As we become more familiar with the movement and as our bodies grow stronger, we’ll find that we can increase the range we enjoy. It’s certainly a movement that feels better with practice!
If you’d like to experience Rowing, come along to any of our Reformer Plus classes. If you’re new to Pilates, our Reformer Fundamentals classes are a great place to start. You can reserve a place in any of our classes below.