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  Pilates quadruped exercise:   thread the needle Pilates Information
Pilates Alexander Technique
Free pilates Exercises Online
Threading the Needle:- Start Position
  1. Kneeling on all fours. Your shoulders should be over your hand, and your hips over your knees. Your neck should be long and your head looking comfortably downward.
  2. Anchor the scapulas.
Threading the Needle:- Action
  1. Breathe in, zip and hollow, and transfer your weight onto your right hand.
  2. (Breathing out): Lift your left hand and place the back of it on the floor pointing to your right. Keep both elbows relaxed.
  3. Slide your left hand along the ground under your right arm pit. Let your right arm bend.
  4. Breathe in and hold the position with minimal straining. Check that the scapulas are still anchoring and that your head has moved to look right.
  5. (Breathing out): Return to the start point
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Threading the Needle:
Start Position

This particular movement pattern is not something we routinely perform in our daily lives. Nevertheless, it is one of a number of exercises that returns the shoulder joints and muscles to normality.

What it does
  • Works the rotator cuff muscles through a useful range of movement(1,2).
  • Gently loads the scapula anchor muscles (especially the Serratus anterior) and encourages the neck tension muscles (upper and middle trapezius, levator scapulae, Sterno-cleido mastoid ) to relax and recalibrate their length(3).
Watch Points
  • Zip and hollow and maintain scapula anchor throughout.
  1. Shirley A Sahrmann: Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes; Publ. Mosby 2002
  2. The Official Body Control Pilates Manual Available from:
  3. Joseph Ventura: POSTURE.pdf; A document bundled with trial software available from: itm00001.htm

© Bruce Thomson, EasyVigour Project
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