Pilates: Saw-sational

By Denise Vidal

As promised, I am going to take you through a traditional Pilates exercise called “Saw”. Saw is an exercise which combines the moments of spinal rotation and spinal flexion. Chances are you do this movement several times a day without realizing it, every time you bend over to tie your shoes or reach down to pick up something off the floor. However, in this blog we are going to dissect the movement to increase your awareness and integrate core support.

Before we begin, I suggest you review my blogs on these topics. If you have been diagnosed with a herniated disk in your spine, this exercise is not recommended. Furthermore, if you are experiencing any back or pelvic pain, please consult your doctor or physical therapist before attempting this exercise.

You can do this exercise either standing with knees bent, sitting in a chair or sitting on the floor. Feet are hip distance apart. If you choose to sit on the floor, sit on top of a folded blanket or pillow so that you can have a supported neutral spine. To begin, take a deep breath. As you exhale rotate your spine to the right, feeling the disks between your vertebra soften. In my rotation blog I compared the vertebral disk in rotation to a marshmallow being squished between one’s fingers. Imagine the disks spreading in response to the spinal movement.

Staying in rotation, begin to roll forward on your next exhale. Dropping your chin towards your chest, feel your vertebra sliding away from each other as you articulate through your spine. Remember to pull your abdominals in towards your spine, so that your waist doesn’t collapse as you roll forward. You can also support yourself by placing your left hand on your right knee and your right hand on your waist or the back of your chair. On your next inhale, slowly roll back up in rotation. Once you have stacked your vertebra up to neutral, rotate your body back to center.

Repeat the same movement rotating to the left, remembering to breathe before each movement. If you are interested in private Pilates training, call the office at Beyond Basics to set up an appointment. I am in the office every Thursday morning.

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