The Ped-o-Pul is one of the most neglected pieces of apparatus in the studio. This is sad, as this is where we learn to transfer the Method to standing and correct functional movement. I like to say that the Ped-o-Pul is the mother of the Baby Chair. The Baby Chair, or Arm Chair, teaches the LIFT (Two-Way Stretch) used in Pilates from a seated and kneeling position. I added standing exercises to help the transference from the Baby Chair to the Ped-O-Pull. On the Ped-O-Pul we take that lift to standing. This incorporates the added challenges of balance, moving symmetrically and around a center axis. The Pole represents our spine and the springs assist in teaching us and strengthening us to use our spines correctly while standing. This changes the way we move through everyday life. The Ped-O-Pul builds the supporting spinal muscles, creating space between each vertebra. The exercises increase our range of spinal movement, the ability to rotate and side bend, as well as to move with dynamic and complex actions of everyday life with freedom, efficiency and awareness.
The Ped-O-Pul creates an environment without support. When you stand, your pelvis, back, arms and feet are only supported by 2 high springs, a pole and a platform. The Ped-O-Pul challenges all you have learned, to safely move to upright movement with a lifted and long spine. The rotational exercises have long been a favorite of mine when training professional athletes and dancers. It exposes weaknesses and imbalances and allows the student to feel what movement patterns need to change to build balance and a balanced body.
Below are some of my favorite Ped-O-Pul exercises and its Thread to the Mat. Before starting an exercise, take time and study the video to understand the concepts, movement, focus and cues. As always, you are the best judge, listen to your body and if you experience any pain or discomfort while performing a certain movement, stop immediately.
I hope you will be inspired you to look deeper and search for yourselves and your journey in Pilates to find the lift of the Ped-O-Pul and spring into your step.
Arm Circles Standing Facing Out
Use to build the connection of isolating movement of the arms with a long and lifted spine for the Double Leg Stretch. Also, when the arms circle in this fashion, they create an internal “twist” of the muscles as the pull against the spine. The long and lifted spine needed for the Spine Twist, or any twist for that matter, may be built utilizing this exercise as well.
Side Bend Standing Facing Out
Use to build the connection of isolating movement of the legs with a long and lifted spine for the Side Kick Side Lying Bicycle.
Centering One Leg Circles
Use to build the lift of the spine needed to isolate and develop proper rotation from the waist down for Hip Twist.
Centering One Leg Front
Use to build the lift of the spine needed while holding the legs with one leg in front of the other with a square box. Building the lifted front leg of this exercise builds the spinal lift needed to get into the correct position as the pelvis lifts in Snake and Twist. This spinal space creates increased range of motion in the rotation as well.