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How to Do the Pilates Stacking the Spine Position

Stacking the Spine — a basic movement in Pilates — is a finishing position to several exercises. It teaches articulation of the spine (full movement throughout all the vertebrae) as well as how to sit up vertically. It’s a fluid way to sit up or stand erect from a hunched-over position. Also, Stacking the Spine is a wonderful stretch for your back.

1

Start by sitting cross-legged (or with your knees bent and your feet on the floor) with your back against a wall.

If this is a difficult position for you because you’re tight in your hips or low back, then sit on a pillow. Allow your whole spine to round forward, letting your head hang heavy.

2

Begin to Stack the Spine by pulling your navel in toward your spine and trying to press your lower back into the wall.

Start at the lowest vertebra possible and keep pressing your spine into the wall, moving up one vertebra at a time and allowing your head to hang heavy until the end.

3

Finally, you’re sitting up tall, with your whole spine and head against the wall.

You have just Stacked your Spine!

4

You can try again, but this time try reversing the stacking to get to the starting point.

In other words, allow your head to initiate the roll down and then peel off the wall one vertebra at a time until you’re rounded forward (in a C Curve) and are ready to stack up again.

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