The Camel, from our ZEN•GA® Equipment repertoire, is an excellent way to open up the front of the hips and progress your client through full spinal and hip extension. This pose also creates space in the chest and lungs, increasing breathing capacity.
This comes from our ZEN•GA program, which is a unique mind-body modality that fuses elements of Pilates, yoga, martial arts and meditation into a series of flowing movements.
For September’s Exercise of the Month video, Merrithew® Lead Instructor Trainer Sarah Jarvis shows how this extension exercise can be progressed from an Essential to a more Advanced level by focusing on the breath and proper form. Before progressing to the next step, be sure your client knows how to properly initiate the movement through the thoracic spine while maintaining the core connection. There should be no strain on the lumbar or cervical spine or the front of the hips or thighs.
- Initiate the movement by opening the ribs first toward the ceiling, then move the spine backwards, lifting the gaze upwards
- Press the hands against the Jumpboard to provide support and stabilize the scapulae
- Keep the front of the pelvis and thighs pressed into the Jumpboard to provide stability
- Keep glutes engaged throughout the movement
- Legs should be parallel with a neutral pelvis and spine to start
- If the client is tight or restricted in the front of the hips, allow them to rotate the hip joint laterally to make it easier to perform this movement well
- Progress to the next level once the client can perform the exercise well, and add in extra breaths when needed to keep the movement smooth and fluid