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Coordination vs. Backstroke

Updated: Apr 11, 2021

So... wth is up with coordination and backstroke?! Do you find yourself constantly bewildered during your reformer session wondering which one of these confusing-ass exercises you're supposed to be doing and when...? And (BTdubbs) why are we even doing these torturous things?! AND, why can't I ever seem to get it right???

LOL. Don't worry, you are NOT alone. This is a super common issue that many Pilates peeps encounter, especially when you are first entering into the intermediate territory of the classical Pilates system.

First of all, it's just choreography. Don't let it get you flustered!! Keep in mind, both of these exercises are born from the double leg stretch (2nd one in your ab series of 5). So once you have nailed double leg stretch, which you always learn first, your body already knows the basic shape and what muscle groups to fire in order to execute the movement.

Once that one is solid in your body, we ask you challenge things further by adding the choreography of coordination and then backstroke!

So how are they alike?

*Both are specific breathing exercises

*Both are performed in abdominal flexion

*Both come from double leg stretch

*Both help get you into your secondary powerhouse (namely upper back/arm pitt muscles, like your lats, serratus anterior, scapula stabilizers)

And how are they different?

*Coordination is done on the reformer carriage

*It happens immediately after short-spine massage (or overhead if you're doing advanced) and it is prepping you for pulling straps on the long box and eventually the rowing by getting your upper arms active and "on your back".

*Backstroke happens a bit later in the series when you have already done more work to get your scapula stabilizers fired up and everything is working in tandem. Backstroke is performed on the long box, straps in your hands, using the resistance of the springs to prepare your body and mind for the teaser... which happens immediately after backstroke.

Here's a little video tutorial that you can refer to and practice on your own at home 😁 Check out my YouTube channel for more tips and exercise tutorials!

Drop your questions below! I'm here to help 😉

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