Have you considered marrying parts of your body with other parts? How do you typically think of your body? Upper, lower, middle, arms, legs, front, back, side? Throughout a Pilates workout we want to move the body in all directions meaning flexion, extension, lateral flexion, and lateral rotation. But to do any of those four there is a movement associated with the other side of the body. When twisting to the right, we are still working and using the left side of the body. When doing forward flexion we are using both front and back of our body.
Take a moment to think about an exercise that might be difficult for you. Are you focusing on what isn’t working for while forgetting about what is working for you? What if you could marry the two groups together? For example think of a roll up. If you’re struggling with the flexion of your spine what are your abdominals doing? Or check your legs: hamstrings and quads?
Eccentric contraction is the motion of an active muscle while it is lengthening under a load.
During your roll up are feeling the body lengthen while rolling up or down? And if the roll up on the mat is difficult consider other apparatus that can help marry your roll up with the mat.
Give these options a try: Standing Push Down Front (Roll Down) with chair, and Rowing #3 on reformer, and Elephant on Reformer, Upside Down Push Up with chair, Push Through with Tower, Spine Stretch on mat.
All these exercises have elements of the roll up but will feel different. Gravity will change in each exercise and make it easier or more difficult for you. It will also change the way your body feels in each exercise.
The springs are trying to marry the muscles to your body. They are trying to create new connections or strengthen current ones. Our most challenging exercises are often the ones we need to work on the most but how can you become better without feeling discouraged?
Look for ways to connect the exercise to other exercises and on other pieces of equipment. Look for connections inside and outside of your body.