By June Scharff
Using The Elongated C Curve position gives the full benefit of abdominal work in Pilates or any other exercise class. It allows full usage of the abdominals, which gives flexibility and strength to the core. Doing the elongated C Curve can seem a little tricky; when you see someone in a perfect elongated C Curve it doesn’t look like a curve at all.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
The lower curve involves a slight tilt in the pelvis. To achieve this, continuously bring your abdominals up towards your head. Next imagine the sits bones reaching down towards the feet. This continuous lengthening will end up causing a slight tilt. The natural curve in the lower spine will flatten out, and you should feel the lower back connect with the mat underneath you. It is not necessary to “tuck” your pelvis, as this will shorten the abdominals, and diminish the usage of most of the core muscles.
The upper curve involves lifting the shoulders off of the mat. When lifting the shoulders, the first thing to do is to drop the jaw to relax the neck, and let the chin drop to the chest in a relaxed fashion. Next, imagine the upper back muscles reaching up towards the head. While lengthening the upper back, soften the abdominals so you can sink the ribcage down into the mat below. Start folding right below the chest (the T point), and continue creasing at the fold as the upper back rises slightly off the mat and folds over the front of the body. The upper back should feel lengthened and expansive.
It takes time to learn how to do the Elongated C Curve, but once you do, you will be amazed at how quickly you will improve in everything else. That’s when the fun begins!