Change Your Routine by Practicing Imprint on the Arc Barrel

imprint on the arc barrelImprint is a standard Pilates exercise. In fact, it’s so popular that it’s also an exercise that physical therapists commonly prescribe to help clients with back pain. Being able to separately move your pelvis from your spine and notice with your body/mind connection whether or not you’re actually doing this are invaluable tools for your body. This is why Imprint on the Arc barrel is a great exercise.

It’s so beneficial for you to practice Imprint in a number of ways, and on the Arc barrel is just one of many. Here’s more on how to practice this important exercise.

Imprint on the Arc Barrel

  1. Place the Arc barrel so that the curve seems like a bump in the road on your mat.
  2. Make sure that the barrel is slightly toward one end of your mat so that you have enough room to be on your back with your feet on the apex of the barrel.
  3. Broaden your collarbones, and bring your arms by your sides. Press your palms into the mat.
  4. Use Pilates breathing throughout.
  5. Now, just like you would with regular Imprint on the mat, resist the urge to move your pelvis with your glutes.
  6. Inhale into the sides of your ribs. Lightly activate your transverse abdominis to keep the connection between your ribs and hips.
  7. Find a spot about 1 inch below your belly button. Exhale and think of drawing that spot on a diagonal line down toward your spine. This movement should result in your low back reaching toward the floor (although probably not fully touching it and becoming flat).
  8. Inhale and engage the muscles of the low back to return your pelvis to neutral. If you’re not sure how to find those muscles and this movement, here’s an idea. Imagine you’re out with a person you don’t really like, and they put their hand on your low back. Possibly you would be polite and wouldn’t pull away or make a big deal about it, but inside of you, every fiber of your being would be trying to get away. This is the image that I use to get my pelvis to return to neutral.
  9. Keep breathing and moving the pelvis back and forth.
  10. Complete 5-10 repetitions.

Finding the Best Arc Barrel

If you’re in the market for an Arc barrel, I recently compared the top five Arc barrels on the market. Here’s who made my top five list and which barrel I’d buy.

Imprint on the Arc Barrel Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

I love how Imprint feels differently when my feet are on the Arc barrel than when they are on the Mat. What do you think? Do you like this version better than or the same as the mat version? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.