1. Health

Video:How to Do a Pilates Ball Extension Exercise

with Lesley Powell

The modern lifestyle can sap the strength from your hips and spine, hurting your overall posture. But with this easy Pilates ball extension exercise, you can improve your flexibility and strength. Check it out!See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Do a Pilates Ball Extension Exercise

Hi. I am Lesley Powell, the director of Movements Afoot, a Pilates wellness studio in mid-Manhattan.

This is Mandy Chan, one of my Pilates teachers at our studio. She will be demonstrating the extension prone ball exercise.

Strengthening Your Extensors

We are going to do a great exercise improving your extensor strength on the balls. Especially with our culture so much inflexibility with our sitting in front of computers and tv's, in cars and lack of walking, we are losing important strength in our hips for standings and spine. Improving our extensor strength will change our posture to sit and stand taller.

Use a 65 cm Ball

We are going to use a 65 cm ball and a wall to press our feet against. Since most people have just want one ball at home, I find the 65 cm ball more versatile. Sitting at the computer on a ball is a great way to keep our backs free from the compression of poor sitting.

Focus on the Legs

To strengthen the back, it is important to use the legs. This helps to keep the back in length. Without the legs, a lot of people shorten the back and this can lead to discomfort. When you do this exercise well with the legs, extending the back will be a piece of cake.

How to Position Your Body

To start, it is important how you place yourself on the ball. Since all of us have different structures of length, you need to find the correct position for your body:
  • Kneel with your feet facing the wall.
  • Place the ball in front of your hips.
  • Press the ball out by straightening your legs.
  • Place just the heels on the wall with your toes on the floor. It is like you are standing in low pump shoes on the wall
  • Come back to kneeling with your spine on the ball.

Check Your Muscles

Around the buttock cheeks is your gluteal folds. The muscles around this fold and the side of the hips are our goal to activate. Squeezing the buttocks together kicks important muscles that help us stand better and flexes and rounds the lower spine. We want the opposite movement to happen where your spine extends.

The wall gives the feeling of pushing against the foot bar of the reformer. You want to simultaneously push the feet backwards as you move the tone around the gluteal fold into the ball.

Push Heals into the Wall

Starting at the kneeling position, simultaneously push the heels in the wall and the top of the thigh into the ball. The legs are straight and strong.

Lift Your Arms

Intensively the tone at the gluteal fold, and the spine will lift into the extension. Lift the arms up only to the height where you have wide shoulders front and back.

If for any reason, you feel in in the back. Modify the lift of the spine and arms. Practice developing better strength of the legs. Your goal is to get the tone around the back of the leg to press into the ball.

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