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Anatomy of the Spine


Updated April 29, 2014

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Pilates Exercises and the Spine
back muscles

Surface Back Muscles

Gray's Anatomy/Wikimedia

Many muscles work together to move and support the spine. You can see some of the surface back muscles in the diagram above, but there are deeper layers of back muscles like the multifidus, that play important roles in supporting the spine. And the back muscles don't work alone. They work in concert with the abdominal muscles in a complex dance of contraction, release, and counter balances that keeps us erect or lets us bend and twist.

One of the great benefits of the Pilates method of exercise is that it is designed to promote a healthy, strong, flexible spine. In Pilates, the core muscles of the back and abdomen are trained to provide strength and flexibility for the spine. There are exercises that stimulate the spine, and an overall focus on balanced muscular development and skeletal alignment that helps keep the spine long, decompressed, and protected.

Learn More About the Pilates Method
Pilates Beginner Quick Start Program

Structure and Function of the Body, Thibodeau and Patton
The Anatomy Coloring Book, Kapit and Elson

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