A quick look at Pilate's Exercise basics.
Pilate's exercise positions and Pilate's exercise terminology is a necessary part of learning Pilate's exercise. What if you’re in your Pilate's exercise class and the instructor tells you to zip up your abdominals, pull your navel to your spine, and work from your powerhouse. Well it would probably feel like Whaaat!! Is this a foreign language?
There are few of the common Pilate's exercise terms a Pilate's exercise instructor might use to help you in feeling and performing the Pilate's exercise properly. Thus this helps you to imagine the motion of the movement that you are doing and help you to use the power of your mind to follow the image you are creating.
So if the instructor said “zip up your abdominals”, you can imagine zipping up a tight pair of pants. You automatically pull in the belly a little deeper. The “navel to spine” image is often used to get students to work from their powerhouse.
So that leads on to “What is the powerhouse”!? This is the area between your pubic bone and the bottom of your ribs including abdominals, back, pelvic floor, glute's and inner thigh muscles. Visualization is a great technique for instructors and students to use to develop their understanding of the exercises.
As well as the Pilate's exercise terminology, there are few key Pilate's exercise positions that will be used again and again in your Pilate's workout. I have described a few below.
Parallel position, Legs and feet in alignment, neither turned out nor turned in, a position where your feet, knees and hips are in alignment.
Neutral Spine, A place where your hip bones and pubic bone are held in the same plane, neither too flexed nor too extended in the lumbar spine.
Table Top: When lying on your back, a position where your legs are elevated and bent at a 90 degree angle both at the hip and at the knees. Legs squeeze gently together to engage inner thighs.
C-Curve: Where the spine is flexed into letter "C" position. Enables the feeling of strong navel to spine and prepares you to roll through the spine smoothly.
The importance of knowing the correct terms and Pilate's positions is crucial in your Pilate's exercise routine. Imagine being a boxer who does not know how to jab or throw an upper cut. Hence it is vital to learn the terminology of Pilate's as you go along to further develop your learning of Pilate’s exercises.
Hopefully, the next time you hear "navel to spine" you'll be in your favourite Pilate's exercise class performing the Pilate's exercises and feeling a little more like you speak the language.
This all really comes back round to the basics and it is important to have a strong foundation on the basics to progress and understand further, so it is worth taking your time to get things right with the basics.
Below are a couple of DVDs that are really good at showing the basics and are well worth having in your collection whether you are advanced or beginner. I often go back through my extensive collection of books, videos and DVDs to refresh my mind of the simple things.
Classical Pilates Technique - The Complete Mat Workout Series
Getting Started With Pilates/Pilates Principles & Beginner: Getting Started With Pilates DVD
I think where I would be, if I did not have my “knowledge database” so to say for constant reference and clarification.
Wishing You All Good Health