What is the Shape of Your Spine? Pilates Test #1

My Pilates test is here to help you understand why and how awareness of your body and its traits is important. I want you to have awareness of mobility in all your joints and all your muscles. I also want you to have control over all your movements in exercise and in daily life. 

You might know how stiff you are first thing in the morning, but do you know if all your joints are equally stiff in the morning? Are all of your muscles, connective tissue and fascia equally stiff and tight? Is it really your back that is stiff or is it your thigh muscles that are tight causing stiffness in the back? Is it really your low back that is stiff or is it the upper back that is so rounded forward that it causes low back pain?

All of these questions can be answered once you have awareness of your own body as a result of my Pilates test.

The picture for Pilates test #1 is of the main categories that spinal alignments fall into. Each person’s spine is either ideal, kyphotic, lordotic or sway back generally. (Sway back not pictured)

Ideal= Right amount of spinal curve in the right places front to back

Kyphotic= Exaggerated curve in upper back

Lordotic= Exaggerated curve in low back

Sway back= Pelvis is pushed forward, in front of ribcage. Hyperextended knees usually accompany this misalignment.

There are many times that the above positions are mixed with each other. These misalignments are separate from scoliosis. Scoliosis can be be found with any of the above alignments.

How is this important?

If you have a lordotic lumber spine (low back) then certain muscles in front of pelvis and thighs are shortened too much and certain muscles in back of pelvis and thighs are lengthened too much. The musculature is out of balance, Pilates exercise addresses these specific imbalances. 

Why is this important?

Some pain issues you might have are probably the result of not doing anything about these imbalances over the years. Even if you’ve been exercising regularly. Exercise by itself doesn’t guarantee good postural alignment.

Melt Method is used in tandem with exercise routines to keep bringing back hydration to your tissues which makes it possible  for your spine to come back to ideal alignment.

Even though you might not be able to bring the spine back to alignment in a few weeks or a few months it is imperative that you know where you are starting from and then diligently work on improving it. You will automatically increase body awareness, body mobility and have more control over your body.

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