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Front support Pilates exercise

This is an excerpt from Pilates-3rd Edition by Rael Isacowitz.

Also known as the plank or push-up position, the Mat: Front Support uses two critical areas of stabilization: the lumbopelvic region and the shoulder girdle. Strengthening these two areas and establishing good muscle activation provides efficient stabilization for subsequent and more challenging exercises on all the apparatus. It is very common to see push-ups being done incorrectly, with little attention devoted to the setup, and quantity overriding the importance of quality and precision. When good alignment and solid stabilization are lacking, the trunk and the shoulder region collapse, resulting in inefficient and sometimes harmful positions.


Imagine the body as a strong, solid bridge or ramp that will not budge under immense weight.

  • Keep the body in a straight line from head to toes.
  • Maintain lumbopelvic and scapular stabilization.
  • Keep the wrists directly under the shoulders.

Setup. Kneel in a quadruped position, with the knees hip width apart directly under the hip joints and the hands shoulder width apart, wrists directly under the shoulders. Establish a neutral position of the spine, weight evenly distributed between the upper and lower body.

Exhale. Reach one leg back with minimal weight shift. Further stabilize the shoulder region.

Inhale. Reach the other leg back into the front support position, with the arms and legs firm and straight, feet hip width apart. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds while further engaging the ISS, maintaining stability throughout the body. Bend one knee in and then the other. Return to the start position. Repeat 2-4 times. Alternate the starting leg.

More Excerpts From Pilates 3rd Edition



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