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Feb 28 2014

Overhead and Why I Cheat

So you know how in the advanced Reformer work, Overhead comes right after the Hundred? And how, at, say, 6am, one's body doesn't quite feel like going upside down after only a very few minutes of exercise? This is when I say to myself,

Your Overhead would be soooooo much better if you just saved it until you're warmer. After all, it's essentially Jackknife on the Reformer. Jackknife doesn't come right after the Hundred. It waits until you're suitably warm and limber. Why should Overhead be any different? Just switch it with Short Spine Massage. No one has to know but you.

So I do Short Spine, and save Overhead for after Tendon Stretch. Therein lies the problem.

I do not get a full workout very often. Most days of the week, I do Pilates. Most of those days, I get in 20-25 minutes. Some of those days of the 20-something minute workout, I kick ass. I am sweaty and full of Pilates discoveries I can't wait to share. I do The Amy Special: 2 repetitions of each exercise, no more. If I cook, I can sometimes get to Front Splits. But that is not an every workout thing. For me, every workout is different.

Some workouts involve lots of phone checking and sipping of tea. Most workouts are followed immediately by a client, and I don't want to get too messed up or stinky. Sometimes my lipstick application is a work of art that mesmerizes me when I am doing Criss Cross and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. So for those workouts, 20-something minutes are more like checking the box of I Did Some Pilates Today.

Which leads me to the bad news: if I dawdle and stare at my phone/lipstick/tervis tumbler, I never get to Tendon Stretch. Which means I never get to Overhead. So Overhead doesn't get done nearly as much as it should (neither does Tendon Stretch, but that's another blog post). At least I got Short Spine in, right?

Why is Overhead at the beginning? Because this the advanced work. Therefore, you have approached the Footwork and the Hundred with the vigor appropriate to an advanced student of Pilates, yet you still have plenty of energy. You ARE warm enough. Not only that, Overhead makes Coordination (an exercise I have been known to be quite dismissive of) a wholly different exercise. For me, having already closed the ribcage and extended the arms long on the carriage for Overhead gives Coordination a subtlety missing on the days it is preceded by Short Spine. Post-Overhead, Coordination makes my neck feel longer and lighter, and my shoulders feel perfectly placed. Coordination literally feels good after Overhead. 

So Overhead is at the beginning because it should be. Thanks again, Joe. Oh, and thanks also for making me enjoy Coordination. The wonders never cease.

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