With Pilates quickly becoming a staple in many Australians’ exercise routines, it’s often easy to misunderstand the commonly used phrases and technical terminology spoken throughout your Pilates session.
To that end, Ash Butler, Director of Pilates at RISE by Studio PP has created a reference guide, for new and veteran students alike, of the most commonly used phrases you’ll hear in a Pilates class.
ENGAGE – We often hear “engage your glutes” or “engage your lower abdominals” instead of squeeze, tense or brace. All work is an active lengthen, lift, scoop, push or pull in Pilates, even in a static hold.
NEUTRAL SPINE – The spine is in its natural position when all three curves of the spine – cervical (neck), thoracic (middle) and lumbar (lower) – are present and aligned.
CURL – When we ‘curl up’ in Pilates, this infers lifting your head, neck and chest up into an abdominal crunch where the shoulder blades are elevated off the ground.
C-CURL – To achieve this shape, we curve the spine from the tailbone to the crown of the head to emulate the ‘letter C’. In abdominal exercises, we achieve a C-curl in roll-ups or by leaning back.
PELVIC FLOOR – This refers to the muscular base of the abdomen. When you are asked to “activate” or “tighten” your pelvic floor, you need to contract these muscles.
CORE – Referring to more than just your abdominal muscles, you core refers to the rectus abdominus muscles, the diaphragm, the internal and external oblique muscles, transversus muscle (TVA), the pelvic floor, and the muscles that run along the spine (erector spinae, multifidus and psoas).
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