Which Pilates Exercise Are You?
By Ada Wells, PT, PMA-CPT
These days, social media is obsessed with quizzes ranging from what superhero should you be to what country you should have been born in. I’m going to pass on the quiz, but go straight to the answer key.
So…which Pilates exercise are you?
People often think they know you at first glance, but you let them know that there’s more to you than what you see on the surface. There are some who fear you because you’re quick to let them know with a good hamstring cramp that they are trying to power through without attention to pelvic control and lower body alignment. Just a way to strengthen your glutes? Think again. Just add a dash of spinal articulation to encourage mobility with segmental control in the lumbar spine and suddenly, you’re everyone’s best friend that is always being invited to the party.
You provide just the right combination of support and feedback. You don’t just leave the body alone to battle the challenges of gravity, but rather, you create some support, while at the same time leaving room to grow and progress. Your easygoing nature makes you a flexible companion, as the stability required at the torso and pelvis will enable adequate mobility at the hips. Add a dose of scapular stability and ribcage alignment and suddenly, people know not to take you for granted.
People are often in awe of you, but you are sometimes perceived as unapproachable. You know that this is so far from the truth. They just need to know that they can’t just jump right in and think they can just charm you with abdominal strength alone. They’ll need to coax you out of your shell by making sure there has been a proper warm up to encourage good lumbar articulation into flexion to see you shine. You and your younger sister, the rollup, make a great team.
You are a classic….full of grace and strength. You are the fountain of youth with your hip and thoracic extension combined with the attention to head/neck/shoulder organization, spinal mobility into extension and core control. So many people attempt to be like you, but they often fall short because they try to lead with their head instead of their heart, causing them to lose control of what’s important. Your secret is your lengthening energy that creates space to move. Even though you lead with your heart, you still keep your gaze moving on its path upward, which keeps your head in the right place.
You can be very misunderstood and polarizing at times. Some think you can be very approachable right from the start, but if they’re not careful, you’ll quickly make the situation more tense…and be perceived as a “pain in the neck”. Spending a little time encouraging good head/neck organization and creating the right energy will go a long way to avoid being perceived as a blow hard.
You are the most organized of the bunch because you have to be, and you’re not afraid of being committed to achieve results. If you let any one aspect of your body organization to fail, the result is a fall from grace. However, when you’re at your best, you have the ability to bring everyone and everything together. The combination of staying anchored while allowing flexibility and flow in multiple directions makes you someone that everyone looks up to and respects.
Standing Roll Down:
People think you’re a pushover, and often assume they can just roll all over you without thinking you care. However, you do care…especially if one just skips straight to hip flexion without taking care to appreciate the importance of lengthening the lumbar spine and articulation into flexion. It’s usually best to come later to the party so that everyone has had a chance to warm up to you and can appreciate the sense openness that you can provide.
Rolling Like a Ball:
You have the ability to consistently put a smile on people’s faces. You remind us that movement is fun and sometimes, you just have to follow the momentum and roll with it…so long as you maintain some control at the end.