In this video, we show 3 options for APPI’s double tabletop prep – an exercise designed to coach people into this position before they then commence higher level exercises covered on our Matwork Level 3 course. We start by demonstrating double tabletop prep – which involves setting centre, maintaining a neutral spine and lifting each leg into tabletop position one at a time. When teaching your clients, watch out for the common compensation – an extension of the lumbar spine especially as the second leg comes off the floor. Use cues to ensure a “rib to hip” connection to make sure the anterior oblique sling is really active to avoid this extension pattern.
Double tabletop prep is a fundamental position in Pilates used frequently for challenging the abdominals. When executed correctly, exercises in this position can be extremely effective, however, it is vital to ensure correct technique in this loaded position and make sure that people are progressed appropriately.
The second variation shown on the video challenges balance – the arms are off the floor so there is less base of support and a soft Pilates ball placed under the sacrum is creating an unstable base. Take note though that for some people, especially those who are more lordotic, may, in fact, find it easier with the ball as they are naturally placed into a bit more posterior tilt which can allow for an easier abdominal activation.
The final variation is a great starting point for many people new to this exercise, especially if recovering from back pain. Having the hips in more flexion starting with feet resting on an elevated surface means that the leverage is significantly reduced, so the abdominals do not have to work as hard to control the spinal position as the legs are lifted.
You can learn more exercises like this on APPI’s Matwork Level 1, the first step in the Matwork Certification series. Matwork Level 1 arms you with the skills to begin delivering one-to-one, clinically reasoned, Pilates based treatment plans for your clients. Our 2018 courses are filling fast.