This month we are focusing the spotlight on one of Joseph Pilate’s original moves: The Dart. This exercise is fantastic for strengthening the back, engaging the extension muscles throughout the movement. Like a dart your body should be pointed and slickly streamlined so you can glide through the levels of this move!
1. To begin the move lie on your stomach with your arms down by your sides and your forehead rested on the floor. Your feet should be slightly apart and you should feel relaxed, take a deep breath in.
2. Exhale and start to lengthen the back of the neck. Keep your pelvis in a neutral position, whilst lifting your abdominal muscles away from the matt and squeezing your thighs tightly together for stability.
3. Slide your shoulder blades into your back, being careful not to lock out your elbows. Begin to inhale as you slowly lift the crown of your head and chest but be sure to maintain contact between the ribs and the floor. Remember your head is an extension of your spine so keep your spine straight and your gaze in line.
4. As you lift ensure your chin is tucked in, lengthening the neck and slightly lift your arms turning your palms into your body, be careful not to crease your neck, grip with your shoulder blades or buttocks, or crunch your lower back.
5. Inhale while holding the pose then exhale as you return to the starting position.
Repeat the exercise for up to a minute, if you want to increase the intensity try lifting your gaze slightly and opening your chest.
If you feel you have darted through these steps with ease you can progress the movement up a level, firstly by extending your arms outwards at the sides. Keep your arms level with your shoulders and point the fingers. Move your arms out in front of your body in line with your ears, before taking them back out horizontally, then down to your sides before relaxing the body into the starting position.
Why not practice your Pilates in a social environment with one of our weekly classes? With mixed ability classes on everyday simply call our Newcastle Pilates Studio today on 0191 284 9111 or see online for our timetable.