Abdominal Curls

Foundations: Spinal Mobility & Strengthening – Abdominal Curls & Rotation

Foundations: Spinal Mobility & Strengthening

Abdominal Curls & Rotation: What’s it good for?

🌟  You’ll strengthen the abdominals for more challenging work down the line…

🌟  You’ll learn to coordinate Deep Abdominal Activation with movement and breathing.

A quick “how to”…

Abdominal Curls 

🌟  Draw in the abdominals

🌟  Take a quick sniff to air to inhale, maintaining the hollowed out abdominals.

🌟  Initiate the roll up movement by starting to exhale through pursed lips.  This helps to create back pressure, which helps to maintain the deep abdominal contraction.

🌟  Continue to exhale as you lift your torso off the mat, drawing in the abdominals further and imprinting your lower spine into the mat.

🌟  When you reach the lower part of your shoulder blades, stop.  Take another quick sip of air like you dis at the start.

 

A quick “how to”…

Abdominal Curls with Rotation

🌟  Roll Up as you did above 1-3.

🌟  Initiate the rotation with a long inhalation.

🌟  When you reach your range of movement,

🌟  begin to exhale and return to the centre

🌟  Inhaling, rotate to the other side and repeat …

 

Hints & Tips:

🌟  Do you feel any neck strain?  There are various solutions. Be sure to activate your shoulders by pressing your head into your hands and your hands into your head and lengthen your neck by sliding your shoulder blades down your neck.  If the problem persists, get in touch and I’ll give you other, simple solutions to this common problem.

🌟  Do you feel any neck strain?  There are various solutions. Be sure to activate your shoulders by pressing your head into your hands and your hands into your head and lengthen your neck by sliding your shoulder blades down your neck.  If the problem persists, get in touch and I’ll give you other, simple solutions to this common problem.

🌟  Do you feel strain in your lower back?  This is usually because you haven’t engaged your abdominal muscles properly.  Right from the get go we’ve focussed on how breathing out activates the abdominals.  Spend the first part of the outbreath drawing your navel towards your spine and then begin the actual movement.

🌟  Do you find that your movement is only very small?  Don’t emulate the Sit Ups that people so often do in the fitness industry where they almost touch their foreheads to their knees.  Focus on creating the connections in your body. Over time, you’ll be able to curl up father with great control and then you’ll be able to show the “fitness” people how awesome you are!

🌟  If your abdominals “pop out” – you’re curling up too far.  You ribs should stay at hip height, but no further. Think of your ribs softening as you curl up.

🌟  You find the exercise insufficient challenge?  Keep practising and focus on creating more and more intense connections in the shoulders and abdominals whilst eliminating all unnecessary tension elsewhere.  There will be further challenges down the road – I promise.

 

Abdominal Curls FAQs

Q.  I’m still having trouble with the Abdominal Curls.  I can manage one or two, but then I lose all sense of connection in my body.  What am I doing wrong?

Nothing.  Keep up your daily practice and it will improve.  As you progress through the course, you’ll notice than many exercises build up on each other and they will help what you’re doing now.  Don’t give up and create a daily exercise routine that you can sustain!

Q.  I strain my neck when I do abdominal work.  Should I work on strengthening my neck?

First you need support for your neck.  Start the abdominal Curls with a towel, as you get more connected to your abdominals, you can do without it.  There are neck strengthening exercises that you can do. Get in touch and I’ll help you out.

Q.  Can abdominal muscles be too strong?
A.  Yes. If abdominal muscles are too strong, they overpower other muscles. that means that muscles will be restricting movements. That’s why we always focus on working towards balanced muscle development in Pilates.

Q. My friend does abdominal curls really quickly and with lots of repetitions. I feel silly going so slowly. Which is best?
A. Pilates is actually quite fast (we call it “flow”). But we start slowly and deliberately to make sure that we are in control of the movement: breathing fully, disengaging our back muscles and not allowing our abdominals to pop out.

Any Questions?

Ask away – I love to help!  Click here for the Contact Page 🙂 – or leave a comment at the bottom of the post – see you there…

 

 

Miguel 🙂

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