Try this Pi­lates se­quence.

Try this Pi­lates se­quence to awaken and strengthen deep core stabilizers, im­prove mus­cu­lar asym­me­tries, mo­bi­lize joints and sup­ple the spine.

Dressage Today - - Content - By He­len Fletcher

Cross-train­ing and fit­ness are an in­te­gral part of a com­peti­tor’s rou­tine.

In the world of elite sport, cross-train­ing and fit­ness are an in­te­gral part of a com­peti­tor’s rou­tine. Dres­sage rid­ers from ama­teur to elite com­peti­tors are one-half of the ath­letic com­bi­na­tion, and as rid­ers, we need to look at our own body and its abil­ity to not only with­stand the rig­ors of com­pet­i­tive rid­ing but to com­ple­ment and en­hance the horse’s abil­i­ties and ath­leti­cism.

We need to be mind­ful of our asym­me­tries, weak­nesses, pos­tural re­stric­tions and com­pen­satory pat­terns and con­tin­u­ally strive to be the best we can be to be­come, or re­main, the ath­letic equiv­a­lent of our horses. We all have busy lives and some­times look­ing af­ter our own fit­ness comes sec­ond to the care and fit­ness needs of our horses. What can­not be underestimated, though, is the cu­mu­la­tive ben­e­fits that a small amount of ef­fec­tive, mind­ful move­ment each day can have to im­prove our rid­ing and our rid­ing longevity.

We are what we ha­bit­u­ally do, and I have de­signed this se­quence to off­set the some­what lin­ear na­ture of our mod­ern lives. The spine is de­signed to move, and one of the best things we can do for the long-term health of our spine is to move in all three planes of move­ment—sag­gi­tal (for­ward and back, or flex­ion and ex­ten­sion), coro­nal (lat­eral, or side­ways, flex­ion) and trans­verse (ro­ta­tion)—on a daily ba­sis. As a Pi­lates Move­ment Ed­u­ca­tor, one of my roles is to con­cen­trate on re­stric­tions and the com­pen­satory pat-

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