Stage 3: Clinical Pilates for cervical and thoracic postural corrections

You are superb on achieving stage 3! Once you read this page answer the questions on the sheet given by your physiotherapist at Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Australia and bring that to your next treatment session. The key to all these exercisers is to always retract and draw your head backwards.

Level 1

Swan preparation:
  1. Lying on your stomach with the forehead resting on the head cushion with your chin tucked in. Arms and palms on the floor in a stop sign beside your head. Legs extended straight.
  2. Squeeze the shoulder blades together back and downLift the head and chest off the ground, and do not push through the hands
  3. Retract your neck by drawing your chin back and look straight down to the ground
  4. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat twice
swan1 swan1
Breaststroke arm:
  1. Lying on your stomach with the forehead resting on the head cushion with your chin tucked in. Arms and palms on the floor in a stop sign beside your head. Legs extended straight.
  2. Squeeze the shoulder blades together back and down and lift the hands just off the floor
  3. Exhale and reach your arms over your head squeezing the shoulder blades back and down
  4. Inhale and draw your elbows beside your body squeezing the shoulder blades back and down
  5. Repeat this movement as slow as you can 10times
swan3 swan4
Flight:
  1. Lying on your stomach with the forehead resting on the head cushion with your chin tucked in. Arms beside the body with the palms facing down. Legs extended straight.
  2. Squeeze the shoulder blades together back and down and lift the arms just off the floor
  3. Rotate the arms turning the palms up and down, keeping the hands off the floor
  4. Repeat this movement as slow as you can 10times
swan5 swan6

Level 2

Breaststroke arm modification 2:
  1. Lying on your stomach with the forehead resting on the head cushion with your chin tucked in. Arms and palms on the floor in a stop sign beside your head. Legs extended straight.
  2. Squeeze the shoulder blades together back and down and lift the arms just off the floor
  3. Lift the head and chest off the ground
  4. Retract your neck, draw your chin back and look straight down to the ground
  5. Exhale and reach your arms over your head squeezing the shoulder blades back and down
  6. Inhale and draw your elbows beside your body squeezing the shoulder blades back and down
  7. Repeat this movement as slow as you can 10times
swan1
flight1 flight2
Flight modification 2:
  1. Lying on your stomach with the forehead resting on the head cushion with your chin tucked in. Arms beside the body with the palms facing down. Legs extended straight.
  2. Squeeze the shoulder blades together back and down and lift the arms just off the floor
  3. Lift the head and chest off the ground
  4. Retract your neck, draw your chin back and look straight down to the ground
  5. Exhale and rotate the arms turning the palms up and down, keeping the hands off the floor for five beats
  6. Inhale and continue for five beats
  7. Repeat this movement as slow as you can 10times
swan5
flight3 flight4

Level 3

Breaststroke arm modification 3:
  1. Lying on your stomach with the theraband below your chest. Forehead resting on the head cushion with your chin tucked in. Arms and palms on the floor in a stop sign beside your head. Legs extended straight.
  2. Squeeze the shoulder blades together back and down, grab the theraband and lift the arms just off the floor
  3. Lift the head and chest off the ground
  4. Retract your neck, draw your chin back and look straight down to the ground
  5. Exhale and reach your arms over your head squeezing the shoulder blades back and down
  6. Inhale and draw your elbows beside your body squeezing the shoulder blades back and down
  7. Repeat this movement as slow as you can 10times
breakstroke breakstroke1
Flight modification 3:
  1. Lying on your stomach with the theraband below your chest. Forehead resting on the head cushion with your chin tucked in. Arms beside the body with the palms facing down. Legs extended straight.
  2. Squeeze the shoulder blades together back and down, grab the theraband and lift the arms just off the floor
  3. Lift the head and chest off the ground
  4. Retract your neck, draw your chin back and look straight down to the ground
  5. Exhale and rotate the arms turning the palms up and down, keeping the hands off the floor for five beats
  6. Inhale and continue for five beats
  7. Repeat this movement as slow as you can 10times
breakstroke2 breakstroke3

Level 4

Swan preparation on ball:
  1. Lying on the front with the ball under the stomach, the hands on the ball beside the body. Legs straight, slightly apart and turned out. Press the public bone into the ball, and no downward pressure applied through the arms at all.
  2. Squeeze the shoulder blades together back and down
  3. Lift the head and chest off the ball, and do not push through the hands
  4. Retract your neck by drawing your chin back and look straight down to the ground
  5. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat twice
ball ball1
Breaststroke arm on ball:
  1. Lying on the front with the ball under the stomach, elbows bent beside the shoulder. Legs straight, slightly apart and turned out. Press the public bone into the ball.
  2. Raise the chest slightly and retract your neck by drawing your chin back and look straight down to the ground
  3. Exhale and reach your arms over your head squeezing the shoulder blades back and down
  4. Inhale and draw your elbows beside your body squeezing the shoulder blades back and down while lifting the chest higher off the ball
  5. Exhale and release the chest half way down and reach your arms overhead
  6. Repeat this movement as slow as you can 10times
ball2 ball3
Freestyle arm on ball:
  1. Lying on the front with the ball under the stomach, arms are outstretched overhead with the palms facing down. Legs straight, slightly apart and turned out. Press the public bone into the ball.
  2. Raise the chest slightly and retract your neck by drawing your chin back and look straight down to the ground
  3. Exhale and alternate the arms up and down for five beats
  4. Inhale for five beats
  5. Repeat this movement as slow as you can 10times
ball3 ball4

Level 5

Plough on reformer:
  1. Springs: Men = 0.5-2 Women = 0.5-1.5
  2. Lying with your chest at the end of the box. Legs straight with toes pointed. Arms holding the ropes with palms facing in
  3. Raise the chest slightly and retract your neck by drawing your chin back and look straight down to the ground
  4. Squeeze the shoulder blades together back and down
  5. Exhale and slowly sweep the arms towards the ground and continue to sweep the arms beside your thighs squeezing the shoulder blades together back and down
  6. Inhale and slowly sweep the arms down returning to start position squeezing the shoulder blades together back and down
  7. Repeat this movement as slow as you can 10times
Aeroplane on reformer:
  1. Springs: Men = 0.5-2 Women = 0.5-1.5
  2. Lying with your chest at the end of the box. Legs straight with toes pointed. Arms straight inline with your face holding the ropes with the palms facing down
  3. Raise the chest slightly and retract your neck by drawing your chin back and look straight down to the ground
  4. Squeeze the shoulder blades together back and down
  5. Exhale and slowly sweep the arms to the side parallel to the ground and continue to sweep the arms beside your thighs squeezing the shoulder blades together back and down
  6. Inhale and slowly sweep the arms to the side returning to start position squeezing the shoulder blades together back and down
  7. Repeat this movement as slow as you can 10times
Triceps on reformer:
  1. Springs: Men = 0.5-2 Women = 0.5-1.5
  2. Lying with your chest at the end of the box. Legs straight with toes pointed. Hands in straps, elbows tucked beside your waist, palms facing inwards.
  3. Raise the chest slightly and retract your neck by drawing your chin back and look straight down to the ground
  4. Squeeze the shoulder blades together back and down
  5. Exhale maintain this position and straighten your elbows reaching the hands past the thighs, squeezing the shoulder blades together back and down
  6. Inhale and slowly bend the elbows back to start position squeezing the shoulder blades together back and down
  7. Repeat this movement as slow as you can 10times
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