Big Twist

When we were soliciting videos for #marchmatness2017, Amy Taylor Alpers, the co-owner/cofounder of The Pilates Center in Boulder, sent us this video of Big Twist. Although it's not one of the 34 mat exercises, it's one you shouldn't overlook—here's why.

I learned this exercise directly from Romana Kryzanowska back in New York in the late ’80s. It was always a final exercise to an advanced mat when it was given. Romana often threw in ‘extras’ at the end of mat that she had learned from ‘Uncle Joe,’ such as his more standard calisthenics like the ones you see him teach in old films, as well as standing lunges in all directions, and the Big Twist. It was a great brain-twister as well as a body twister, and fully embodied the idea of ‘wringing yourself out like a dish cloth.’ Later, I was very excited to find pictures of Pilates himself demonstrating it. To this day, we continue Romana’s tradition of putting it at the end of a great mat class. —Amy Taylor Alpers

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