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The Neck Pull Print E-mail

The Neck Pull is a more advanced version of the Roll Up. The main difference is that in the Neck Pull, your arms remain behind your neck instead of reaching forwards as they do in the Roll Up. This variation increases the load on your abdominals. Also, in the Neck Pull your legs are hip distance apart instead of being pulled together in the Pilates First Position like the Roll Up. This position also makes it harder for your abdominals because you can't help out with your butt muscles when your legs are apart. Make sure that you can do the Roll Up with control and mastery before attempting the Neck Pull. Like the Roll Up, the Neck Pull increases abdominal strength and articulation of your spine.

The Neck Pull is one of the most difficult abdominal exercises in the mat series. When tuaght to most students (even the strong ones), most f them try it and shake their head, moaning, ‘This is impossible'. You can take heart though and just keep trying because one day it will all come together.

The Neck Pull is a more advanced version of the Roll Up. The main difference is that in the Neck Pull, your arms remain behind your neck instead of reaching forwards as they do in the Roll Up. This variation increases the load on your abdominals. Also, in the Neck Pull your legs are hip distance apart instead of being pulled together in the Pilates First Position like the Roll Up. This position also makes it harder for your abdominals because you can't help out with your butt muscles when your legs are apart. Make sure that you can do the Roll Up with control and mastery before attempting the Neck Pull. Like the Roll Up, the Neck Pull increases abdominal strength and articulation of your spine.

Lie down on your back with your hands behind your head, fingers intertwined. Your legs should be straight out ahead of you on the floor and hip distance apart.

Inhale: Flex your feet and ground your heels into the mat.

Exhale: Squeeze your butt, scoop your abdominals and begin to roll up, trying to flatten your lower back onto the mat as you rise. Imagine squeezing an orange under your chin to lift your head and sequentially peel your spine off the mat. Complete the movement by rounding your back forwards as you pull your navel in, hollowing your belly in opposition to the forwards bend and keeping your elbows wide. Imagine that you're reaching up and over a barrel.

Inhale: Stack up your spine, one vertebra at a time (your head should be the last thing to rise). Sit up tall, lifting the crown of your head to the sky and keep your elbows wide.

Exhale: Initiate the roll down by squeezing your butt, scooping your belly and reaching long through your heels. Begin to roll down your spine, pulling your navel in, creating a C Curve with your lower back and controlling the movement from the centre. Think of pressing your spine down onto the mat one vertebra at a time. Roll slowly all the way down to lying flat.

Complete 5 repetitiOns. Finish the last one by lying flat on your back with your arms by your sides. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor to get ready for Shoulder Bridge.

  • Focus on using your abdorninals to perform the exercise.
  • Attempt to articulate through your spine on the way down and on the way up.
  • Minimise the tension in your upper body; keep your neck long and relaxed.
  • Don't yank on your neck. Allow your abdominal muscles to lift up your head.
  • If this exercise is too hard for you to do and you can't get up, try keeping your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor throughout the exercise, or have a friend hold down your legs.


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