Hips Up…Shoulders Back!

March 19, 2008 at 5:16 am 9 comments

Hips Up…Shoulders Back!

 

There are many reasons to keep your shoulders on your back.  Even more reasons than the obvious:  Because they belong on your back…not on your front.

One other great reason to keep your shoulders back:  When you lift your hips up off the ground in any exercise, if your shoulders are not on your back, then you will use you neck to lift…and that’s bad for your neck.  Sounds obvious, but almost everyone lifts her hips with shoulders forward and neck back.  It’s got to be shoulders back and work hard to maintain the length and curve of your neck.

Maintain the curve of the neck?  Yes.  Your neck needs to keep it’s lordotic curve when you go over-head with your legs and hips.  So what then supports you?  Your shoulder blades!

Breathing, Shortspine, Longspine, Rollover, Jackknife, Corkscrew, Tower, Airplane and any other exercise where you lift your hips off of the mat must be with broad collarbones, shoulders on the back, maintain that curve in the back of the neck and keep the chin and eyes up to the ceiling.  Do not lift up with your chin in your chest.  Do not look at your hips while you are over-head.  Do open your collarbones/get your shoulders on your back.  Do look up to the ceiling.  Do look at your feet.  Again, I say, do not look at your hips.  You will compress the front of your cervical spine and bear weight in your neck and head.

How did I learn this?  Well…I kept wondering why my neck was continually going out.  I knew that I had to use my shoulders to assist my over-head work, but I didn’t realize how much…and how I had to keep my chin up.  I figured it out as I worked very hard to keep it all out of my neck.

So…Open your collarbones/find your shoulders on your back before you go to lift your hips and to do the action of lifting hips  and to roll through your spine for the rest of any of the exercises.  Basically…every part of this exercise needs those shoulder blades for support.

Yes, of course, every exercise ought to have shoulders on the back.  But today we’re just talking about over-head work.  And you’ll find that this support will save you and help advance you (and your clients).

You’ll find that you can’t lift as high as you have before.  You’ll find that you can’t get your hips up as high…yet.  As you practice these shoulder blades on the back for the lift, you will gain greater support and strength and find that with very little effort, far less than before, you will lift up high with great support of your shoulder blades rather than the support of your compressed neck!

Try it.  Struggle through how difficult it will be at first.  It will be humbling.  Enjoy the strength you will develop!

***As always, if you have any questions about this or any other topic, please feel free to write to me or call me at the studio.  If you have any topic you’d like me to blog about, let me know that, too!  Enjoy!***

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Don’t be afraid to teach 4 Teaching Tips

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Exercise Advice » Hips Up…Shoulders Back!  |  March 20, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    […] Alicia SilvanHOne added avid conceive to primed your shoulders back: When you eject your hips up hard the connector in whatever exercise, if your shoulders are not on your back, then you power have you cervix to lift…and that’s pure for your neck. … […]

    Reply
  • 2. Hips Up…. Shoulders Back! « Power Pilates Blog  |  January 19, 2010 at 2:00 am

    […] Hips Up…Shoulders Back! […]

    Reply
  • […] Hips Up…Shoulders Back!2008/03/19 […]

    Reply
  • […] Hips Up…Shoulders Back!2008/03/19 […]

    Reply
  • 5. The Vertical Workshop's Pilates Teacher Blog  |  December 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    […] Hips Up…Shoulders Back!2008/03/19 […]

    Reply
  • 6. The Vertical Workshop's Pilates Teacher Blog  |  December 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    […] Hips Up…Shoulders Back!2008/03/19 […]

    Reply
  • 7. Hips Up…. Shoulders Back! | Power Pilates  |  April 17, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    […] Originally Posted March 2008 on The Vertical Workshop’s Blog […]

    Reply
  • 8. Andrea Dean  |  May 31, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Hello Shari, I love your blogs. I have studied some of your work after the PMA 2015 in Denver, where you had presented the workshop on a twisted pelvic.
    I have been looking to find an answer to my problem, I think I am starting to understand more and more….but still a bit uncertain…
    I am straining my neck in inversions (advanced ones). My neck muscles, from the scull down to middle of my shoulder blades would be pulled for a few days, then it goes away, and I would do it again, over and over.
    But it is a new thing, I have been fine till about 3 months ago,…
    I have been practicing Pilates for over 15 years, teaching for over 4, still very new at teaching…
    What do you mean by your comment – “Well…I kept wondering why my neck was continually going out.” Would you say you pulled your erector spinae group muscles (deep or superficial ones)?
    Am I hurting the Anterior Longitudinal Ligament?
    Which ones exactly?
    Is there anything else I should be working on other then keep looking up, maintaining the curve in cervical spine, is there anything going wrong with the intra abdominal pressure I should be thinking of as well?
    Thank you very much for your time.
    Andrea

    Reply
    • 9. theverticalworkshop  |  June 12, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      Pardon my delay in writing back…
      I will write back soon with information!
      – Shari

      Reply

Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Sessions via Skype

Would you like to do a workout, question/answer or mini-workshop session with Shari? Each week, Shari works with teachers all over the world via Skype. Email Shari at info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com

Workshop Download – The Music of Pilates

Buy, Info, FREE Sample

Workshops

Full info listed under "Workshop Calendar" at www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com/workshops

EVERY DAY at your home:
The Music of Pilates
www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com/the-music-of-pilates

2017...
January 13-15 Webinar
June 9-11 Rio de Janeiro, BRASIL
(more to come as I work around my graduate school schedule)

2016...
February 26-28 Rhinebeck, NY
March 10-13 - Live-Streaming Webinar of The Intensives Seminar #1
April 1-3 Bethesda, MD
April 22-24 - London, ENGLAND
May 15 - NYC, NY
June 3-5 London, ENGLAND
July??? - Live-Streaming Webinar of The Intensives Seminar #2
September 30 - October 2 London, ENGLAND

EVERY DAY at your home:
The Music of Pilates
www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com/the-music-of-pilates

Archives

Special Thanks:

NYC's Finest Chiropractor

Joe Fiedler Trio

Incredible Music

Fantastic Music

The Vertical Workshop

The Vertical Workshop Pilates

Link yourself to this blog…

Would you like to be listed on the Pilates Teacher Blog like the links you see above in "Special Thanks"?
E-mail me at info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com to find out how!


%d bloggers like this: