Welcome back for part 2 of our ‘best of’ Pilates exercise lists, where we recommend our top 5 exercises for specific problems. We’ve already covered posture and strength, and this time round we’ll be covering flexibility and stability.Tight muscles and joints become sore and painful muscles and joints much more easily than flexible ones, and tight muscles are also weaker and less able to do their jobs that ones that have full mobility and can, therefore, cause various problems for the body. Pilates exercises that can help improve flexibility are therefore hugely important.
- Shoulder Bridge
Back again for appearance number three (I did warn you), it’s the shoulder bridge. Whilst we’ve already talked about the great benefits of the shoulder bridge for your strength and for your posture when done correctly, it’s also great for improving flexibility. Specifically, the shoulder bridge is great for mobilising the joints in your lower and mid back areas and also helping them to move more freely relative to one another.
Also notching its third appearance on our ‘top 5’ lists is the swimming exercise. The muscles at the front of your hips and at the front of your chest are prone to becoming quite tight through everyday life, and this exercise is a great option for giving them a good stretch, as well as creating length through the upper and lower limbs.
- Hip Twist
Another area quite prone to becoming stiff and tight through everyday life is the joints in your spine, and the hip twist exercise is a great way of loosening them off.
- Spine Twist
The spine twist is another great way to improve the flexibility of your spinal joints and is particularly handy to do while sitting in your chair at work or watching TV at home.
- Arm Openings
The arm opening exercise combines the spinal joint mobilisation effect of the spine twist, with the stretch of the chest muscles of the swimming exercise, making it impossible to ignore for our top 5 Pilates exercises for flexibility.