You are Only as Old as your SPINE is Healthy – Joseph H. Pilates

This is my new favorite piece of Pilates equipment….The Spine Corrector.  It’s always been a personal favorite for counter movements to the everyday sitting and standing most of us endure.  In my new post-grad, continuing education course, I’ve had the opportunity… and push I needed to spend more quality time, and look more closely at what this amazing piece of equipment can do for the body.

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It’s called the spine corrector, and that’s what it’s all about…the spine.  The act of sitting and/or standing vertical to gravity for long periods of time can compress the spine; muscles tighten, and posture becomes compromised, which can lead to back pain.  Our lower lumbar spine becomes tight, hamstrings and gluts weaken, shoulders round forward, the chest hollows and breath become shallow.   When sitting in front of the barrel part of the spine corrector, the dip in the seat becomes extra space allowing vertebral spacing.  The spine gets to stretch down as you lift the spine up in opposition by growing tall, creating “space” between the vertebra.  Exercises on the Spine Corrector focus on length, articulation of the spine, and moving the spine in all planes of motion.  Flexibility improves in forward flexion, extension, as well as lateral flexion and twisting movements (Golf swing!).   It’s especially good for spinal extension (the arched shape like “swan”).  With the support of the barrel, when you lay back over it, the whole front of the body gets a stretch.  It opens the chest, shoulders, and hip flexors, which become tight from the occupational hazard of sitting.  With the opportunity to open and stretch the front of the body, you learn to activate the backside (the hamstrings and gluts), teaching the body how to move correctly in extension, and improving overall posture.  The exercises feel really, really good while challenging your powerhouse or core, and they allow you to reach, lengthen and stretch further than ever before.


Cody Robbins is Co-Owner with Michelle Haver Long, and an Instructor at Performance Pilates.  Contact her directly at


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