Whoever said that Pilates doesn't make you sweat...

Whoever said that Pilates doesn't make you sweat, is totally wrong. Today I had probably one of the most intense and physically hard Pilates workouts. I can already feel that my muscles have gotten a workout today, and I think tomorrow morning I might have to do some stretching with my legs and my shoulders! Getting your body to open up and to work properly and also focussing on only moving certain muscles is ridicilously hard. Why didn't anyone tell me before that Pilates is such a great way to exercise? 

During today's Pilates lesson with Sanna at Equstom Riding School, for the first time in my life, I stretched my sternum whilst at the same time also stretching my shoulder blades! Oh my goodness, it was amazing! 

Muscles of the upper back and shoulder
Anatomy of the thoracic skeleton (ribcage)

The picture above shows what we were focussing in our lesson. The aim was to even up any imbalances between the muscles that are used to pull up our shoulder (there are four of them) and the muscles that are used to keep the shoulders down (only two...) Because there are four muscles for upwards movement and only two muscles for 'downwards' movement, it's easy to see how some muscles might stronger and the other weaker. It is important to exercise the muscles used to pull down the shoulders, as if they are not used at all or very little, the muscles quality deteriorates and the muscle becomes very weak and stiff.

For riders, working on our shoulders is incredibly important. Since Sanna is a riding teacher as well, she tries to point out the significance of these exercises for riders. Many riders struggle with keeping their shoulder blades down, and I'm sure nearly every rider has at heard this plenty of times, as have I. But I've never realized how much I do this. Exercising the muscles that pull down the shoulder blades makes a rider's posture much better; by strengthening and straightening the back and by making the arms stronger and more still. I can't wait to ride tomorrow to really practice this whilst riding. Luckily I have our three boys to ride tomorrow, although I will only be riding Rama properly, Vallu will only be walking and Basse will go out for a hack in the woods.  With Vallu and Basse I can really focus on my own body whilst walking and hacking out, and I really hope that everything I learnt today will have sunken in so that I keep remembering to keep my shoulder down!

Vallu went out for a fifteen minute walk today outside in the afternoon, and it was so nice and sunny that I had to take a couple of photos with my phone! Look at how blue the sky is!

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