The turn of May means a new ‘move of the month’ and we’re continuing with the letter theme! In April we looked at ‘The Y’ so this month we’re delving into a variation that we call ‘The W’. This Pilates move focuses on strengthening the mid-trapezius muscles and stabilising the scapula, so provides a rigorous workout for both the back and shoulders. Not to be shrugged at, this move; although small, puts the body under tension and really sculpts your upper back. This muscle group is notoriously difficult to isolate with traditional exercises and quick to injure, so follow the steps below carefully!
Lie face down on your exercise mat, with your legs about hip-width apart and your toes and forehead touching the floor. Take a deep breath in then exhale powerfully, ensuring your arms are by your side and that your body is relaxed.
Bring your arms out in front of you so that your body resembles a ‘Y’ shape. Bend the elbows to 90 degrees so that your body now resembles a ‘W’. Ensure that your elbows are not rigid, as this will put unnecessary strain on the shoulders.
Now you can begin the move. Inhale whilst squeezing your shoulder blades together; hold them there for a second. Then lift your elbows and hands off the floor sucking your belly button towards your spine.
Exhale and bring your arms back down to the floor, but keep your shoulders tightly pinched and your stomach engaged.
Finally, relax your shoulders and return to the relaxed position from step 2.
Repeat a few repetitions of this move for maximum impact.
Once you have mastered this move, you can take it up a gear by adding some small hand weights into the mix. Remember that the mid-trapezius is easily strained, so don’t go too heavy, start with 1kg in each hand and slowly increase the weight as you get more confident in the move.
To perfect the W, or any other of our Pilates moves we recommend 2-3 sessions per week. At Newcastle Pilates you can join in one of our many classes, or book a one-to-one, just go online to see our timetable or call us on 0191 284 9111 to book.