Build a Better Backbend with the Spine Corrector

Build a Better Backbend with the Spine Corrector

Why Spine Corrector?

If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old; if it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.

Joe Pilates, Return to Life

In keeping with Joe’s philosophy it makes sense that he would invent an apparatus capable of correcting and encouraging the spine to become more flexible. Jay Grimes often speaks of Pilates as being ‘all about opening' and the Spine Corrector (and Small Barrel) is a perfect example. We can open the entire front of the body including the chest, shoulders, hips and thighs while strengthening the back and the bottom.

Joe has given us the magnificent Spine Corrector. I know many exercises have been taught here: the Mat exercises, the Rowing Series and the Short Box.

But it is called Spine Corrector.

I believe this name defines its raison d’être. So let’s put it to good use.

Here you'll plant the first seeds of back bending which will one day grow into the apple tree of the High Bridge.


The no-pillow zone

99.99% of the time gravity is not our friend.

Constant and diligent work is necessary to keep our bodies lifted, upright and vibrant.

What luck! Pilates injects moments of inversion into our workout to help us out.

Lengthening the back over the hump of the Spine Corrector for the Arm Circles can allow the neck and upper back to hang upside down for a brief respite before returning to our upright and often hunched-over lifestyle.

This position may not be the epitome of comfort at first, but

  1. this is your workout
  2. you’re not going to be be there forever
  3. you are not propped up to watch television.

So lose those pillows!

They do not allow the ‘corrector' to work it's magic on your upper back and only support the tension that you are working to fix in the first place.

Build a Better Backbend with the Spine Corrector

Look! Here's the top half of your backbend! You are long, supported and building strength for the backbends on all the other apparatus where it may not feel quite so luxurious.

Here you can see a connection to other back strengthening exercises as well, for example Rowing #3 and #4. Now you are further challenging yourself in this extended position, with the upper body just as connected into all of the back. So work your Rowing well. All roads lead to the High Bridge.

Mat + Spine Corrector = A Match Made on 8th Avenue

Often underused today, the Spine Corrector was the Mat's best friend in Joe’s studio. After a full Mat workout or even just a portion of one the Spine Corrector was often a natural progression to continue your workout. Two great tastes that taste great together!

It also happens to be a great place to introduce the Scissors, Bicycle and Shoulder Bridge exercises before you must face the harsh reality of doing them on the Mat sans Corrector.

It’s a great place to work on so many things, really. “Don’t worry, we fix.”

Build a Better Backbend with the Spine Corrector

Now to work on the lower body part of the backbend with the Scissors, Bicycle, Shoulder Bridge, etc… to open the hips and thighs.

This is the long reach of the lower body connecting it into the back, stomach and bottom.

Keep yourself rooted into the Spine Corrector underneath you and create length and strength in the low back for a safe and strong backbend. You can find this same lower body reach in the Leg Springs with the back long and supported by the Cadillac. As you reach into your straps for the Short Box on the Reformer, you will again get this preparatory work toward the High Bridge.

Build a Better Backbend with the Spine Corrector

And then of course you can get busy with your love/hate of all things one-sided all over again. Reach little left leg, Reach! You can do it! 3 cheers for our voluptuous round friend Spiney C!

Related Posts: One Sure-Fire Way to Backbend in Pilates

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One Sure-Fire Way to Backbend in Pilates

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