Teaching Tip: How to connect to the Arm Fascia Lines in Pilates Exercise Hug a Tree?

This is a VLOG, see video from my YouTube TV Channel at Carrie Miller Pilates:

We need to talk about the placement of bones – humerus, clavicle, scapula and ribs. The first part of seeing the the shoulder in the Hug A Tree exercise is to look at the bones involved, let’s start with the humerus (upper arm bone).

The most common problem in Hug a Tree is that the arm is behind the shoulder capsule — which turns on the upper trapezius to hold the arm out to the side and the fascia lines (arm, functional front, functional back, and spiral) don’t turn on. In additional the arm if taken too far behind the shoulder capsule, will also make the ribs pop forward in space.

As we want to train both fascia and muscles in Pilates, the the spine should stack in the client’s neutral (more on that in another blog, as all spines are different) meaning they are stacked ribs over pelvis and lengthened in their waist line.

How do we change this pattern to fascia movement?

Elbow goes slightly in front of the shoulder, to now engage the fascia we need to think about it ( yes client’s need to pattern the movement to their brains and tell themselves your cue or heck they can even say it aloud!).

CUE: Reach through all five fingers and lengthen out, connecting to the position of the arm into AN ACTIVITY of working the back. This is different than making a shape.

Reaching the fingers (yes all of them) creates dynamic movement.

The clavicle (collar bones) and scapula (shoulder blades) have a placement and relationship to each other. If I over emphasize the collar bones lifting UP then the scapula presses downward which over works the front body. If the balance of front body and back body are three dimensional then the fascia system can fire appropiately.

Understanding the relationship of each bone to another can help the client move from the inside out, thus connecting to the whole system – fascia, muscle, and bone.

I would love to know how you cue the fascia for Hug a Tree. Please leave a comment or private message me.

I am available for private online sessions for both Pilates teacher teaching tips as well as private pilates sessions.

YouTube Channel Carrie Miller Pilates:

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