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Exercise of the Month #2 - The C Curve

Aaaaaaah this is a tricky one!

The C Curve is an important exercise for awareness of spinal alignment. It is also the start of the Half Rollback - it gets you all set up, switched on and ready to roll back, away from the legs.

The first image shows me sitting with a neutral spine. My shoulders are stacked directly over my hips and I'm sitting right on top of my sit bones.

In the second image I've flexed my spine and moved into that lengthened C Curve. You'll see that my shoulders are still directly over my hips, but my spine is in a gentle curve. I'm no longer sitting on my sit bones as I've moved into a posterior pelvic tilt (ie. a north tilt). Abdominals are drawing back towards the spine.

The next two images show common mis-alignments in this exercise.

In the first image I've over-flexed my cervical spine (neck) but the rest of my spine hasn't moved at all.

In the second image, I've just leant back and I'm hanging off my legs. I've over-flexed my thoracic spine but you can see that my lumbar spine (low back) isn't flexed at all. My shoulders are hunched up by my ears and so I'll be over-working in that area. I've also jutted my chin forwards. Not a particularly comfortable position to be in!

My tips for improving your C Curve...

Start from the pelvis and move upwards. Get that pelvis into a posterior tilt, draw the abdominals towards the spine and then continue that gentle, lengthened curve all the way up to the neck and head.

Less is more! You'll often hear me say words to this effect in class, and it is true for many Pilates exercises, so keep this in mind!

If you have any questions about the C Curve, feel free to ask, I'm always happy to help.

Marina x

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