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Swan to the rescue

Do you find yourself hunched over?

Many of us spend our days with our shoulders rounded forward, our chest collapsed, and our head and neck protruding forward. These symptoms could be due to our line of work. We might be spending 8 hours a day in front of the computer, or we might be driving for a living, or we might massaging a client on the massage table, cutting hair, etc.

The Swan exercise appears on all the Pilates apparatus and the mat.The purpose of the Swan exercises are to  increase the flexibility of the back, strengthen the back, stretch the abdominal muscles, chest muscles, and the front of the shoulders.

I like using this standing variation on the ladder barrel for cervical and thoracic extensions. Having the support of the ladder barrel allows my clients to maintain a neutral lumbar spine, and they learn to find the strength of the upper back while using the leg and glute muscles for grounding. This variation on the ladder barrel is a great place to learn the power of the eyes in the Swan.

I hope this inspires you and excites you to practice Swans to help with your upper body posture.

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