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10. The Corkscrew


Corkscrew is basically rollover with some side bending and rotation of the spine added in. Seems simple, right? Well adding sidebending/rotation at end range of motion or when stability is challenged or when upside down can create an environment of confusion. It's nice to find a grounding point or internal compass if you will. I should probably mention that the mat Joseph Pilates used while teaching was a bit more extensive that the kind you can roll up and carry with you. It was a slightly raised platform, with handles. The handles make several of these inversion exercises significantly easier and provide that grounding point whilst flinging your legs about. If you have access to a trapeze table/cadillac, I highly recommend learning the inversion exercises while holding onto the uprights. Then work on performing them on the floor. Corkscrew should be avoided by those with osteoporosis, low back injuries, neck pain, shoulder pain. 


Click here for The Corkscrew VIDEO


Classical start: lie on back with arms at side, palms down

Recommended start: after mastering the modified start, begin corkscrew lying flat on the floor with arms at sides, palms down, feet together, toes pointed (same start position for rollover)


1. Exhale to float feet, peel spine off the floor one vertebrae at a time. Legs will go over torso/face until parallel to the ground.  


2. Inhale to lower toes towards the floor (but not touching) and begin to circle/corkscrew legs to the right.  


3. Exhale lower spine down one vertebrae at a time along the right side of the spine.


4. Inhale legs across midline to the left. Exhale peel spine up along left side of spine until legs are overhead and horizontal. Inhale. 


5. Exhale lower spine down one vertebrae at a time along the left side of the spine.


6. Inhale legs across midline to the right. Exhale peel spine up along right side of spine until legs are overhead and horizontal. Repeat whole sequence three times. Roll spine back down the center and lower legs to finish. 


**Note: legs will switch directions when overhead and horizontal to the floor.




Other tips: press hands/elbows into floor to aid in peeling spine off the floor and with circling legs, 


Modifications: start in table top position, limit range of motion/circle size, perform double leg circle without lifting pelvis, windshield wiper, for those with tight hamstrings leave slight bend in knee. 

Lead up to corkscrew with some spine mobility into different planes of motion with a bridge (biased to one side, hip dips, figure 8s). 

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