March MATness Day 10: Corkscrew

It’s Day 10 of March MATness and I couldn’t resist the temptation of upping the ante a bit.  Today’s exercise is the Corkscrew and I decided to try it out on the foam roller (check out my attempt on Instagram (@worldisyourstudio).  Here’s what I found – It’s doable.  It’s really challenging.  And it is all about staying centered.

Photo by Dani Ramos on Unsplash

Our cue for today is “walk the line.”  Being successful with this challenge is all about the centerline: taking your time to set up exacly on the centerline, establishing balance on the centerline once the feet have been released from the floor, hugging the legs to the centerline as they move up and overhead, pulling the shoulder blades to the centerline as the arms and lats and serratus engage to provide added stability, maintaining hips over the centerline as the feet shift over one shoulder and finding that centerline again as the spine drips its way back onto the roller bit by bit, and so on.  If you lose touch with your center, you slip off the foam roller.  (Luckily it’s not far to fall!)

I definitely recommend trying this out before putting it to clients.  It was really tough, but felt so great to accomplish.  Clients who are advanced could certainly give this a go, but have them practice the Rollover on the foam roller quite a bit first.  It helps establish the centerline more firmly.

A note about range, you’ll notice if you check out the video of me do this that there is greatly reduced range on both the swivel from shoulder to shoulder and the circling the feet away and back up at the bottom of the movement.  I would suggest this reduced range for your first attempts.  I’ll keep working at it and hopefully get my own range to broaden a bit!

Find yours truly attempting this feat on Instagram (@worldisyourstudio) and taking on the March MATness challenge day by day.

The Balancing Act of Weight Bearing

Maintaining pelvic and shoulder stability during weight bearing exercises such as plank is incredibly important, particularly as we layer movement onto an already challenging pose.  Consider a simple exercise like Quadruped – on all fours, shoulders in line with wrists, hips in line with knees.  Pretty simple because each of the limbs work together to provide a broad base of support. What happens, though, as we take away one of those limbs and reduce the base of support?  The newly unsupported hip and/or shoulder tends to drop as the balance and weight bearing becomes more of a challenge.

In order for our clients to benefit from these simple exercises, their focus throughout needs to be keeping hips and shoulders level.  Maintaining hip and shoulder height challenges the core, especially the oblique slings, the shoulder girdle and the client’s the sense of balance.

Source: giphy.com

Here’s a cue to give them motivation to do just that.  Have them imagine they are balancing a tray of champagne between the hips on the back of the sacrum, and another just between the shoulder blades!  See if that doesn’t provide some added incentive to stay level!  And if it happens to be a Monday morning when you use this cue, try a couple of mugs of coffee in the balance instead of the bubbles!

 

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