The picture to the left demonstrates the pilates exercise known as Swan Dive. The focus of this exercise is to maintain a slight arch in the spine as you bend your elbows and rock toward the floor and then straighten your arms as you rock back on top. Do 10-20 repetitions.
Maintaining this slight arch will help activate your multifidus muscle. Most people have never heard of this muscle but it is often weak if you have had back pain. The multifidus muscles are a series of very deep muscles that are very close to the vertebras.
This is an intermediate exercises. Next week we will go over a more basic exercise to activate your multifidus.
NOTE: Make sure to maintain a light contraction of your abdominals and buttocks to help support your back
NOTE: Always start the rocking motion (whether rocking toward the floor or back on top) with a slight lift of your legs