Whenever you begin an AeroPilates exercise it is important to place your body in the correct position. Always aim for a neutral spine,it is the natural position of the spine and includes a strong lumbar curve. Most people have a flattened lower back that has lost its natural lumbar curve and, additionally, have weak abdominal muscles. This combination eventually causes the head to fall forward and the neck and back to ache.
If you are lying on your AeroPilates machine, neutral spine is half way between a pelvic tilt and an arch. In exercises where the legs are lifted in the air, most people need to push their lower backs into the platform. This is called 'imprinting the spine'.
As you begin to exercise, it is important to notice what happens to your rib cage. Most people will allow their ribs to pop forward. As you perform your AeroPilates movements, especially those using the arms, try to maintain the same distance between the last rib and the hip bone. Ribs always stay in the same relationship to the hip bone, especially when arms are raised or when breathing in. they never "pop out" or "pop forward".
When performing arm exercises, focus on pulling the shoulder blades together and down to prevent over use of the shoulder joint and remember your spine continues up into your head, it does not stop at the base of your neck.
Especially when lifting the head, lengthen the back of the neck creating a small cervical flexion�a slight nod of the head. The skull should sit with no tension in the neck or shoulders.
Your knees should always be aligned over the feet, with the knee cap in line with the foot. Be extra careful never to over extend or snap the knee joint as you straighten it.
Earlier articles have addressed breathing, but, very simply, the rule is to exhale at the moment the body needs most stabilization.