Return to Life: Neck Pull
– It’s a more challenging exercise that builds on elements of several previous ones!
There’s spinal mobilisation AND strengthening as well as lower back, and a great hamstring & lower back stretch…
What’s it good for?
- Abdominal strengthening, spinal mobilisation and strengthening & all in one exercise.
- Lower back, hamstring & glute stretching
- This exercise shows us how the Pilates system builds on itself as we work through the order of exercises. There’s spinal flexion and we move in towards extension – think Short Box Abdominals from the Reformer on the Mat.
Difficulty: make sure your comfortable with your Roll Up…
The “how to”
Lie flat on your back, hands at the base of your head and elbows just in the periphery of your vision. Press your spine into the mat and your navel towards your spine. Place your feet hips width apart on the mat lengthening your legs out through your heels. Alternatively you can have them together squeezing your butt and inner thighs together. Flex your feet towards the sky.
Interlace your hands and place them behind your head. Press your head into your hands and your hands into your head.
Exhale keeping your chest open & without your elbows coming in together, pull in your centre and begin your roll up. Roll up and over your legs and keep your butt in – if you’re one of those people who can fold over in the middle! Pulse three times your spine over your legs.
Inhale and roll back up to sit tall over your pelvis. Hinge backwards with a flat back and then,
Exhale and roll backwards by tucking your tailbone in under your pelvis. As you get closer to the mat, press your head into your hands more and more
Hints and Tips
💡 Imagine anchoring yourself from butt through to heels.
💡 If you did the Roll Up and it was a struggle, the Neck Pull will also be a struggle, but you’ll probably get there! with the Roll Up first. 💡 If you can’t manage it, substitute the Roll Up – eventually you’ll get there.
💡 Keep your legs parallel when rolling up.
💡 Put your strap under the front of your feet rather than on the bottom of your thighs.
💡 Think of reaching your heels across the room.
💡 As you roll up, think of lifting up and over your self, just like in the Roll Up or Wall Roll DownsThink of reaching your legs into your feet as you roll down.
💡 If you don’t have a strap on your mat, try with your feet pressing into a magic circle.
☀️ … Omit this exercise if you suffer back problems.