Claire Seager

CYQ Level 3 Pilates Instructor

Rotate to Motivate

All of my classes, whether physical or video, offer a full body workout, but I do focus on a particular theme in my physical classes in each booking block or half term. Our theme for the block of classes from September to the October Half Term was rotation so I wrote this blog to explore the theme a little more.



When I learnt about anatomy when training to become a Pilates teacher, I learnt that the body is divided up by various planes.  The transverse plane divides the body into two halves at the waist.  Generally rotational movements take place in the transverse plane.  

Most frequently, in our classes in the current block, we will be focusing on rotation in the spine. This is key to spinal flexibility and can help improve sporting performance.  If you consider a golf swing or a tennis forehand or backhand, these movements require a lot of rotational flexibility in the spine.  Each part of the spine has differing levels of rotational flexibility.  Your neck has a good degree of rotational flexibility if you consider how far you can turn your head from side to side.  The thoracic spine has little rotational flexibility, the lumbar spine has more.  We will be working on increasing flexibility in all parts of the spine.  We will also be strengthening the muscles which assist with rotation, for example, the obliques at the side of your torso, the quadratus lumborum muscles on either side of your lower back, rectus abdominus (six pack) and transverse abdominus (which we have spoken about many times in class).  

Some of the Pilates exercises we will be doing to work on rotational flexibility and strength are: Spine Twist, Hip Rolls, Threading the Needle, Arm Openings, Oblique Curl-ups and Criss-Cross.  So watch out for these in your physical classes and in videos on demand!