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Arc Barrel

complete

A FULLY ILLUSTRATED MANUAL

Original copyright © 2004 by Merrithew Corp., Toronto, Canada. Reprinted 2013, 2011, 2008, 2006. All rights reserved. No part of this book, including photography, may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the publisher. STOTT PILATES; Intelligent Exercise. Profound Results.; Flex-Band; Fitness Circle; Merrithew Health & Fitness; Stability Chair; STOTT PILATES Network; The Professional’s Choice; CORE Athletic Conditioning & Performance Training; Total Barre and ZEN•GA are trademarks or registered trademarks of Merrithew Corporation.

INTELLIGENT EXERCISE. PROFOUND RESULTS.®

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basic principles BREATHING The STOTT PILATES method incorporates modern theories of exercise science and spinal rehabilitation through the Five Basic Principles. As the basis of the exercises in the technique, these biomechanical principles are related to body awareness and proper alignment. Rather than being separate entities, the five principles – breathing, pelvic placement, rib cage placement, scapular movement and stabilization, and head and cervical placement – work together to create Intelligent Exercise that is both safe and effective. Teaching clients the principles at an early stage in their program ensures that they will become aware of how the body moves and functions. This will help enhance skill level and mindfulness, and ensure focus and control, allowing them to reap the full benefits of this method. BREATHING PRINCIPLE EXPLAINED

Incorporating proper breathing during exercise may help relax the muscles and avoid unnecessary tension. A relaxed and full breath pattern can encourage focus and allow concentration on each task. Proper inhalation and exhalation may also help achieve dynamic stability during exercise. In all exercises the initial breath and awareness of stabilization should occur before the actual movement.

This will provide more complete stabilization through the pelvis and entire lumbo-pelvic region. Anatomically, during exhalation, the rib cage closes in and down while the spine flexes slightly. For this reason, an exhale is suggested to encourage spinal flexion. During inhalation, the rib cage opens out and up while the spine extends. Therefore an inhale is suggested to encourage spinal extension. An exhale may be used during spinal extension in order to maintain abdominal recruitment to stabilize and support the lumbar spine. Although this type of breath pattern is specifically useful while practicing STOTT PILATES, other types of breathing may be more practical when performing other activities. Developing an awareness of breath patterns will facilitate adaptation to any training necessary. BREATHING PRINCIPLE EXERCISES

The following movements demonstrate the principle of breathing. 1. NOTICE NATURAL BREATH PATTERN

With body supine, breathe smoothly, noticing natural breath pattern. Is breath affecting one area more than others? Consider the abdominal cavity, upper chest, sides and back of rib cage.

The breath pattern used during STOTT PILATES exercises should contribute to the execution of the movements rather than hindering them. Breathing shallowly only into the upper portion of the rib cage may cause overuse of the accessory breathing muscles and create tension in the neck and shoulder area. We encourage a more three-dimensional breath, expanding the rib cage posteriorly and laterally. There should be light engagement of the abdominal wall, and the diaphragm should depress, causing the abdomen to expand slightly. It is also important to breathe into the lower lobes of the lungs, because there is more efficient gas exchange.

2. BREATHING FLEXED FORWARD

INHALE

through nose, feeling sides and back of rib cage expand.

The breath pattern used in STOTT PILATES should encourage the engagement of the deep stabilizers of the torso. This involves activation of the transversus abdominis first, followed by the oblique abdominals. Simultaneous engagement of the pelvic floor and the multifidus with the transversus is encouraged during both the inhale and exhale.

EXHALE

through pursed lips, allowing rib cage to close.

This may encourage breathing into the sides and back of the rib cage. Start sitting in a neutral position, weight on top of sit-bones. Arms relaxed. INHALE

to prepare.

EXHALE

initiate from top of head and sequentially articulate spine into forward flexion, relaxing over legs.

Then …

Complete 3–5 repetitions On last exhale, initiate from tail and sequentially articulate spine, rolling up to starting position. Repeat.

Breathing Flexed Forward

start sitting

6

flex forward

BASIC PRINCIPLES • COMPLETE ARC BARREL MANUAL

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basic principles SCAPULAR MOVEMENT & STABILIZATION SCAPULAR MOVEMENT & STABILIZATION PRINCIPLE EXPLAINED

Stabilizing the scapulae (shoulder blades) on the rib cage is extremely important as they serve as an anchor for the arms as well as support the cervical spine. When this is not done, there is a tendency to overwork the muscles around the neck and shoulders. Be aware of scapular stabilization at all times: a) when the spine is neutral and the arms are resting; b) when the spine is flexing or extending; c) when the arms are moving in any direction. Due to the lack of direct bony attachment to the rib cage and spine, the scapulae have a great deal of mobility. In making a greater range of motion available to the arms, the scapulae can glide upward (elevation), downward (depression), inward (retraction) and outward (protraction), can rotate upward or downward, or perform any combination of the above. Through the whole shoulder girdle, a sense of stability, not rigidity, should always be maintained. A sense of width should be maintained across the front and back of the shoulder girdle.

The shoulders should not be allowed to give in to excessive movements. The scapulae should lie flat on the rib cage and glide across it without winging markedly (this refers to the medial border of the scapulae coming away from the rib cage). Keep in mind that the scapulae will react to movements of the arms and thoracic spine. For example, the scapulae will naturally elevate and upwardly rotate during overhead movements and protract during thoracic flexion. Be aware that a neutral placement of the scapulae may be slightly different from a particular individual’s natural resting position. An ideal working alignment must be established for each individual. Scapular stabilization should be part of the initiation of all exercises, and established before the movement of exercise begins. When flexing the torso off the mat from a supine position, scapular stabilization will discourage neck tension and excessive protraction of the scapulae and medial rotation of the humeri. Spinal extension should be initiated with stabilization of the scapulae while reaching the top of the head away from the tailbone. This limits the tendency to over-exaggerate movements and decrease dynamic stability through the whole upper kinetic chain. Throughout this manual, when describing the exercises, we will refer to the scapular stabilizers collectively rather than naming individual muscles. The focus is on serratus anterior, trapezius, rhomboids, levator scapulae and pectoralis minor.

Scapular Elevation & Depression

elevation

depression

Protraction & Retraction position 1

neutral

12

protraction

BASIC PRINCIPLES • COMPLETE ARC BARREL MANUAL

retraction © 2013 MERRITHEW CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED IN WHOLE OR IN PART.

warm ups SCAPULA ISOLATION

ESSENTIAL

STARTING POSITION

ESSENCE

POSITION 1

TARGET MUSCLES: transversus abdominis to compress abdomen and stabilize lumbo-pelvic region; deep pelvic floor to aid in firing transversus; obliques to maintain torso stability

Seated on mat with head and shoulders resting on barrel. Head near apex of barrel. Lumbar spine neutral, may not be in contact with mat or barrel. Knees flexed, feet abducted hip-distance apart. Arms reaching overhead, scapulae stabilized, palms facing in. POSITION 2

Seated on mat with pelvis right against or fairly close to barrel. Head and shoulders resting on barrel with thoracic and cervical spine extended and head beyond apex of barrel. Knees flexed, feet abducted hip-distance apart. Arms reaching overhead, scapulae stabilized, palms facing in. Pillow or foam cushion may be placed under head to prevent cervical overextension.

[POSITION 1] levator scapulae and upper trapezius concentrically to elevate scapulae, eccentrically as scapulae lower [POSITION 2] levator scapulae and upper trapezius concentrically to elevate scapulae; lower trapezius concentrically to draw scapulae down STABILITY:

torso

MOBILITY:

scapulae

FOCUS

Use Position 1 to emphasize movement at shoulder joint and through latissimus dorsi. Use Position 2 to emphasize extension of thoracic spine.

avoid arms dropping toward floor during elevation of scapulae

avoid overly depressing scapulae, causing tension in neck and shoulders

EXERCISE

avoid ‘locking’ or overextending elbows

NOTE:

INHALE

slide shoulders up toward ears, elevating scapulae.

EXHALE

slide scapulae away from ears, without forcing, to return to a stabilized position.

in Position 1, maintain lumbar spine in neutral, avoiding flexion or extension

in Position 2, avoid allowing lumbar spine or cervical spine to overextend

Complete 3 – 5 repetitions.

Position 1

1. starting position

2. elevate scapulae

3. return

2. elevate scapulae

3. return

Position 2

1. starting position

22

EXERCISES • COMPLETE ARC BARREL MANUAL

© 2013 MERRITHEW CORPORATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED IN WHOLE OR IN PART.

inverted positions HIP ROLLS NOTE: Unlike other inverted exercises, this exercise starts with feet on barrel and moves into an inverted position (pelvis above shoulders).

STARTING POSITION

Supine, pelvis and spine neutral. Knees flexed, feet abducted hip-distance apart on top of barrel. Arms long by sides, palms down. Scapulae stabilized. EXERCISE INHALE

lengthen through spine.

EXHALE

initiate from tail and sequentially articulate spine through flexion off mat until weight rests on upper thoracic (not on cervical spine). Extend hip joints as much as possible without allowing lumbar to extend beyond neutral.

INHALE

maintain position.

EXHALE

initiate from thoracic and sequentially articulate spine through flexion down to mat, finally returning to neutral.

Complete 3 – 5 repetitions.

ESSENTIAL

ESSENCE TARGET MUSCLES: transversus abdominis to compress abdomen and stabilize lumbo-pelvic region; deep pelvic floor to aid in firing transversus; rectus abdominis and obliques concentrically to flex spine, eccentrically as spine reaches neutral at top, concentrically to begin rolling down, eccentrically as spine reaches neutral at bottom; hip extensors concentrically on roll up, eccentrically on roll down; scapular stabilizers STABILITY:

spine during articulation; scapulae

MOBILITY:

spinal articulation; pelvis on femurs

SEQUENCING: spinal articulation from tail to thoracic on roll up, from thoracic to tail on roll down

FOCUS ■

articulate sequentially so each vertebra peels off separately on roll up, makes contact separately on roll down

maintain abdominal engagement to keep lumbar spine from overextending

engage gluteus maximus and hamstrings to lift pelvis

roll only as far as upper thoracic spine, not onto cervical spine

maintain scapular stabilization to decrease tension in neck and shoulders

maintain parallel alignment of legs during roll up and roll down; do not allow weight to roll onto outside of feet

Hip Rolls

1. starting position

2. roll up sequentially

3. lumbar neutral

4. roll down sequentially

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5. return COMPLETE ARC BARREL MANUAL • EXERCISES

35

inverted positions WINDMILL

ESSENTIAL

STARTING POSITION

ESSENCE

Inverted, with legs straight, parallel, adducted and reaching up toward ceiling. Ankles plantar flexed, toes gently pointed. Imprinted position. Hands holding sides of barrel. Scapulae stabilized.

TARGET MUSCLES: transversus abdominis to compress abdomen and stabilize lumbo-pelvic region; deep pelvic floor to aid in firing transversus; obliques to maintain imprint and pelvic stability; obliques and multifidus to prevent rotation of pelvis; hip flexors concentrically on one side to hinge leg toward torso, eccentrically on other side as leg reaches away; hip abductors concentrically to initiate legs opening, hip adductors eccentrically to control legs opening; hip adductors concentrically to bring legs toward midline; hip flexors on one side, hip extensors on other side concentrically to reach legs toward ceiling; lateral rotators to rotate femurs as legs reach to sides; scapular stabilizers

EXERCISE

To prepare, inhale... EXHALE

stabilize pelvis on barrel and reach one leg into extension at hip, bringing opposite leg into flexion at hip. Then circle legs out to sides, allowing legs to laterally rotate, and continue to circle, reaching second leg into extension at hip and opposite leg into flexion at hip, legs parallel.

INHALE

bring legs together, reaching toward ceiling.

Reverse direction, reaching other leg away first.

STABILITY:

torso; scapulae

MOBILITY:

hip circumduction

COORDINATION:

leg movement with breath while maintaining

pelvic stability

Complete 3 – 5 repetitions each way, alternating.

ENDURANCE:

obliques to maintain imprinted position throughout

Windmill

40

1. starting position

2. scissor legs

3. circle legs

4. scissor legs

5. reach legs to ceiling

6. reverse direction, scissor legs

EXERCISES • COMPLETE ARC BARREL MANUAL

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inverted positions CORKSCREW STARTING POSITION

INTERMEDIATE

Then...

Inverted, with legs straight and parallel, reaching on diagonal as low as pelvic stability can be maintained. Ankles plantar flexed, toes gently pointed. Imprinted position. Hands holding sides of barrel. Scapulae stabilized.

EXHALE

reach legs to one side, and begin to roll spine sequentially, in a straight line, onto barrel. Continue rolling down, allowing feet to draw outline of circle. Reach legs out on diagonal once tailbone rests on barrel. Maintaining imprint, circle legs to opposite side and begin rolling up that side.

INHALE

continue rolling spine sequentially off barrel, to upper thoracic, with toes returning to center overhead.

EXERCISE

To begin... INHALE

hinge legs toward torso, then sequentially articulate spine through flexion off barrel one vertebra at a time, from tail to upper thoracic, and reach legs overhead, parallel to mat.

Complete 3 – 5 repetitions in each direction, alternating. To finish... EXHALE

roll down center of spine, returning to starting position with spine imprinted and legs on diagonal.

Corkscrew

1. starting position

52

2. hinge legs

3. roll off barrel

4. reach legs to one side

8. reach legs to other side

9. hinge legs

10. roll off barrel

EXERCISES • COMPLETE ARC BARREL MANUAL

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inverted positions TEASER BALANCE

ADVANCED

STARTING POSITION

ESSENCE

Inverted, with legs straight and parallel, hips flexed and legs hinged toward torso. Ankles plantar flexed, toes gently pointed. Imprinted position. Hands holding sides of barrel. Scapulae stabilized.

TARGET MUSCLES: transversus abdominis to compress abdomen and stabilize lumbo-pelvic region; deep pelvic floor to aid in firing transversus; rectus abdominis, obliques and hip flexors concentrically on roll up, eccentrically on roll down; scapular stabilizers

EXERCISE INHALE

reach legs away on a diagonal as low as possible while maintaining imprint.

EXHALE

sequentially articulate spine off mat through flexion one vertebra at a time, to balance just back of sit-bones, on apex of barrel. Use arms to assist, then reach them toward feet at top.

INHALE

reach arms by ears, keeping slight lumbar flexion and lengthening thoracic spine.

EXHALE

leaving legs on diagonal and holding onto barrel again, initiate by rolling ASIS away from front of femurs and sequentially roll down to mat through flexion. Once down, hinge legs toward torso.

STABILITY: spine during articulation; pelvis and spine in V position; scapulae MOBILITY:

spinal articulation; articulation of pelvis at femur

SEQUENCING: articulate spine into flexion, initiating from head; initiate from tail back down BALANCE:

in V position on top of barrel

Complete 3 – 5 repetitions.

Teaser Balance

54

1. starting position

2. reach legs away

5. balance, reach arms by ears

6. hold onto barrel

EXERCISES • COMPLETE ARC BARREL MANUAL

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FOCUS ■

articulate sequentially so each vertebra peels off separately on roll up, contacts separately on roll down

maintain scapular stability on roll up, while using arms to assist

maintain leg adduction

make sure to roll through imprint

MODIFICATION 1. FLEX KNEES

if necessary to achieve balance in V position.

3. roll up

4. reach arms to feet

7. roll down

8. hinge legs toward torso

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COMPLETE ARC BARREL MANUAL • EXERCISES

55

prone SPINAL EXTENSION

INTERMEDIATE

STARTING POSITION

ESSENCE

Prone on barrel with pelvis at apex. Legs straight, abducted just wider than shoulders and parallel. Ankles dorsiflexed and held down (either under strap or by instructor), toes on mat. Upper body relaxed on mat. Forehead resting on hands.

TARGET MUSCLES: transversus abdominis to compress abdomen and stabilize lumbo-pelvic region; deep pelvic floor to aid in firing transversus; erector spinae concentrically to extend spine, eccentrically on return; obliques to prevent overextension of lumbar; gluteus maximus and hamstrings concentrically to draw back of pelvis toward back of femur during up phase, eccentrically during down phase; scapular stabilizers

EXERCISE INHALE

EXHALE

stabilize scapulae and reach top of head away from toes, to form a long line from feet to head. Keep hands at forehead. extend evenly through whole spine, maintaining abdominal support.

INHALE

reach top of head away from feet to return to one long line.

EXHALE

release down to starting position.

Complete 3 – 5 repetitions.

STABILITY:

spine during articulation; scapulae

MOBILITY:

spinal articulation; pelvis on femurs

SEQUENCING:

initiation of spinal extension from stabilization

of scapulae FOCUS ■

engage abdominals, hamstrings and gluteus maximus throughout exercise

avoid overextending lumbar or lifting legs off mat

stabilize scapulae before extending spine

avoid overextending cervical spine

maintain scapular stabilization; avoid tension in neck and shoulders

MODIFICATION

Exhale to lift torso and extend spine, inhale to return to starting position. 1. ON TWO BREATHS.

Spinal Extension

72

1. starting position

2. reach to long line

3. extend spine

4. reach to long line

EXERCISES • COMPLETE ARC BARREL MANUAL

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complete ARC BARREL LEGEND:

= essential level

▲ = intermediate level

= advanced level REPS

WARM UPS

BREATHING FORWARD

BREATHING SIDE

SCAPULA ISOLATION

ARM SCISSORS

ARM CIRCLES

REPS

PRONE 2 TO 3 REPS

SINGLE LEG EXTENSIONS

1 REP

LOWER & LIFT

3 TO 5 REPS

LEG CIRCLES

8 REPS

5 REPS

SCISSORS

4 SETS

3 TO 5 REPS

BEATS

4 SETS

BREAST STROKE PREPS

SWAN DIVE

5 REPS

SITTING

6 TO 8 REPS 5 TO 10 REPS

12

3 TO 5 REPS

ROTATION WITH PORT DE BRAS

3 TO 5 REPS

GRASSHOPPER

5 REPS

PORT DE BRAS

3 TO 5 REPS

SWIMMING

4 SETS

SPINAL EXTENSION

ROTATION PRONE

INVERTED POSITIONS

3 TO 5 REPS 5 REPS

HIP ROLLS

3 TO 5 REPS

SCISSORS

8 TO 10 REPS

SUPPORTED ON HANDS

BICYCLE

8 TO 10 REPS

PUSH UP

WINDMILL

3 TO 5 REPS

LEG PULL FRONT

3 TO 6 REPS

LOWER & LIFT

5 TO 10 REPS

LEG PULL

3 TO 6 REPS

FROG

OBLIQUE CAN-CANS

ROLL OVER

6 TO 8 REPS

SHOULDER BRIDGE

2 TO 3 REPS

CORKSCREW

3 TO 5 REPS

TEASER BALANCE

3 TO 5 REPS

5 TO 10 REPS

5 REPS 5 TO 10 REPS

m e r r i t h e w. c o m 2 2 0 0 Y O N G E S T R E E T, S U I T E 5 0 0 , T O R O N T O , O N , C A N A D A M 4 S 2 C 6 . 4 1 6 - 4 8 2 - 4 0 5 0

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COMPLETE ARC BARREL MANUAL • WORKOUT CHART

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Complete Arc Barrel Sample