03 Sep Exercise of the Week: Stomach Massage
Some people love the Stomach Massage and some people hate it. If you are one of those that hate it (like me), then you should do it every day! What? Yes everyday! As Joe reportedly said: “what you least like to do, you do it twice!”
Like the Short Box Abdominals, the Stomach Massage has Round Back, Straight Back, Forward (arm) Reach and Twist variants. It really is an everything in one flow. It also has footwork in one and two legged variations! It has a breathing element… What doesn’t it have?
Prerequisites and what doors it opens
Mat: Rolling Like a Ball and Roll Up, Saw and Twist and if you struggle with things like Teaser and Hip Circles, the Stomach Massage will make those more accessible too! Similarly, it will help Tendon Stretch and Snake and Twist – not because of what happens at the shoulders, but because if you can really activate and pull in those abdominals and “stand in your feet” then the Snake and Twist becomes so much more fun!
What’s it good for? AKA – what isn’t it good for?
- Abdominal strengthening
- Legs: quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors and calf strengthening.
- Lower back strengthening.
- Spinal rotation.
- Pelvic stability
- Scapular positioning and strengthening.
- Lower back, hamstrings and calf stretching
- Learning to pull the carriage in without using the hip flexors
- Learning to “stand in the legs” in order to connect to your centre as the knees bend pulling the carriage in towards the footbar
- Learn to sit on your sit bones.
Things to think about…
- Keep sitting on your sit bones.
- Think of them as the inverted summits of mountains and don’t fall off the back of them!
- Keep your thighs externally rotated throughout!
- Lengthen your legs by imagine that you’re pushing them out.
- As you bring the carriage in, think of lengthening at the waist.
- Separate your rib cage from your pelvis without losing your alignment.
- Maintain head, neck and spinal alignment.
- Focus on pulling in the carriage rather than the pushing out.
Over to you…
What exercise would you like to see featured here? If you don’t know any exercises because you’re new to Pilates – no worries! – Just tell me what type of exercise or what kind of benefit you’d like to see and I’ll get it to you!