Joseph Pilates once said : “If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old. If it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.” What about you? Can you bend forward, backward or sideways without experiencing pain. How old is your spine? The Pilates Barrel can restore your youth. Our Clinical Pilates Practitioners can show you how!
About the Barrel
The Pilates Barrel comes in three forms:
- The Arc Barrel: Small, lightweight and low-tech, these simple barrels enhance your matwork exercises. After your instructor evaluates your spine, he or she will prescribe arc barrel exercises that enhance spinal flexion or extension. The arc barrel also adds challenge to your Pilates abdominal exercises by increasing the range of motion into spinal extension. These exercises are quite easy to learn. Once you understand how to do them, you practice them on your own, using the BOSU to substitute for the barrel.
- The Spine Corrector Barrel: This barrel has a small step attached to it. The step provides some added height, which helps you target your abdominal, core, back and shoulder muscles. Some instructors use the spine correct step to support the knee during the kneeling lunge exercise. This is much more comfortable than placing your knee on the floor.
- The Ladder Barrel: As its name implies, this ladder connects to an adjustable ladder, which facilitates a variety of standing exercises. Depending on the exercise, the ladder rungs support either your hands or your feet. This piece of apparatus helps you perform athletic, gymnastic type exercises.
The Barrel Meets the Reformer
In some cases, your Pilates Practitioner might add the arc or the spine corrector barrel to your Pilates Reformer workout. For example, pregnant women women find it difficult to maintain the supine position. The mum-to-be can use the arc barrel to support her back in a reclining position, place her feet on the foot-bar, and perform the exercise. Since swelling feet are an issue during pregnancy, the ability to stay comfortable while working them is an important benefit.
The same applies to abdominal exercises such as The Hundred. By maintaining a semi-upright position, you can continue to perform otherwise contraindicated exercises. Even better, you need not be pregnant to benefit from the barrel reformer combo. For the side-lying exercises, you can place the foot of your working leg on the foot bar, and drape your upper torso over the barrel. This helps you maintain proper alignment, whilst eliminating the should pain that often accompanies the side-lying leg series.