The Dart:- Start Position
(Emphasize relaxed lengthening of the spine and sides of body and neck!)
- Lie on your front with forehead to the mat.
- Arms at your sides. Legs together and toes pointing.
- Lift your navel off the mat (a 10% effort - like melting upward), and grow tall.
- Lift your hands and reach your finger tips to the wall behind.
The Dart:- Action
- Inhale to lift your chest and shine your breast bone forward
- Exhale to knit the ribs together between the shoulder blades
- Repeat the above to ratchet the upper body higher
- Repeat three to six times - your chest is now standing on its lower ribs!
What the dart does
- Works the extensor muscles of the upper back
- Stretches and widens the front of the rib cage
- The muscles that are worked (Latissiums dorsi and Lower trapezius) are the same muscles that stabilize the torso when
the Gluteus maximus pulls the leg backward during running. It's good to activate and exercise these muscles during the dart, but keep them relaxed when actually out and about!
This exercise works best when the chin tuck muscles (that stabilize the neck) gently activate.
This avoids jutting of the chin and emphasizes the extension of the upper back.
Refer Pilates neck roll and chin tuck
- Hollow the abdominals (remember the "egg under the tum").
- Keep the back of the neck long and soft.
- Shirley A Sahrmann: Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes;
Publ. Mosby 2002
- The Official Body Control Pilates Manual Available from: http://www.bodycontrol.co.uk/
© Bruce Thomson, EasyVigour Project