The Pilates exercise “Swimming” is wonderful for strengthening the muscles in your back and creating length through your spine. Follow these simple steps for how to do it.
Lie on your stomach with your arms reaching long overhead (if you have shoulder pain, keep the elbows bent in a goal post position), legs stretching out in the opposite direction with toes pointed and your eyes looking down at the floor.
On an exhale, draw your belly button in toward your spine. Maintain this stability through your abdomen, keep your belly button drawn in and on an inhale lift your upper chest slightly (about an inch) and then lift your right arm and left leg. Feel the opposition from your finger tips to your toes as you reach them away from each other. Keep your chest lifted, exhale and lift left arm and right leg. Keep alternating sides with each inhale and exhale – only as high as is comfortable without any strain in your lower back and being able to maintain both sides of your pelvis in contact with the floor.
After 6-8 reps on each side, rest and then repeat another 6-8 reps on each side, but start on an exhale while lifting you right arm and left leg – keeping balanced with effort and breath.
This exercise is great for correcting a slouched sitting posture and improving strength throughout your back. Now you know how to “swim” Pilates style!
Achieving your goal of a stronger back and better posture is about consistency and movement.