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  Pilates exercise:   the rope raise Pilates Information
Pilates Alexander Technique
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The Rope Raise:- Start Position
  1. Stand as for "Standing Correctly": Inner side of feet parallel and just under hip width apart, foot arches formed and toes "grasping" the floor, knees pointing ahead or slightly outward, pelvic neutral, spine long and relaxed, scapulas gently anchored, head effortlessly balanced atop the spine.
  2. Hold the rope (or string, or scarf) lightly with both hands, about 1 meter apart. (Keep those scapulas anchored!)
The Rope Raise:- Action
  1. Breathe in and zip and hollow,
  2. (Breathing out): Raise the rope to above your head. Stretch toward the sky! Let the rope "lead" your arms and shoulders. Maintain a gentle scapular anchor throughout!
  3. Breathe in.
  4. (Breathing out): Bring the rope down to touch your forehead. Maintain scapular anchor!
  5. (Breathing in): Raise the rope to above your head. Stretch toward the sky! Maintain scapular anchor!
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 to a total of five times.
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The Rope Raise:
Intermediate RopeRaiseInt Finnish RopeRaiseFin
Often the movement of an extremity (in this case the arms) dictates the movement at the core (in this case the lower spine: lifting an object above the head makes your back arch). This unnecessary and possibly harmful back movement occurs because:-
  • The muscles of your shoulder girdle are stiffer than abdominals so the lower spine is where the movement occurs.
  • You are more aware of the movement of your hands and arms than you are of your lower back.
Pilates exercises seek to correct both of these by:-
  • Working muscles over their longer range (at the gym we often work muscles over their shorter range and then try to correct "short" muscles by stretching.
  • Teaching awareness & strength at the core.
What it does
This exercise gently exercises the following muscles in their longer ranges of movement (something they do not routinely experience):-
  • Pectorals
  • Anterior Deltoid
  • Rhomboids and Levator scapulae
  • trapezius
  • Latissimus dorsi and (to some extent) Teres major.
  • Subscapularis
Watch Points
  • Your back will want to arch. Don't let it!
  • Your head will try to duck. Don't let it!
  • Keep the movements smooth relaxed, and symmetrical. A mirror may well help.
  1. Shirley A Sahrmann: Diagnosis of and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes Publ. Mosby 2002
  2. The Official Body Control Pilates Manual Available from:

© Bruce Thomson, EasyVigour Project
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