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Friday, February 12, 2010


This is one of the most important thing you can ask yourself during your Pilates workout! The answer to this question can be a little tricky... Let's break it down.

In Pilates there are two basic options for pelvic placement:
The first- and the one we should all aspire to- is NEUTRAL PELVIS. This means that your spine is in its natural curve with your lower back slightly off the mat.

To find this position, lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees pointing up towards the ceiling. Place your hands flat on your pelvis with your finger tips on your pubic bone and your wrists on your hip points. The goal is to make sure that your hands are level and your fingers are not higher than your wrists and vice versa. Once you feel you have found neutral bring your hands underneath your lower back and make sure there is just enough space for them. Voila!

The second is SUPPORTED (OR IMPRINTED) PELVIS. This means that your spine is flat against the mat. To find a supported pelvis, simply tilt your pubic bone up towards your nose, pull your belly button in and gently press your lower back to the mat. Make sure you are not pressing the back down.

So the question is... when am I where?? These positions come into play mainly during the abdominal exercises or series of five. Beginners and those with lower back issues, should work in SUPPORTED PELVIS. This provides greater stability when legs are off the mat. If you are more advanced or in great shape, go ahead and start working in a NEUTRAL PELVIS. This position requires a much deeper abdominal connection, and brings the muscles around the back into play. When you first begin working in neutral you may find that you feel a little like a teeter totter... that's ok, just remember to engage the amdominal muscles all the way around (imagine a corset tightening around your mid section and all the muscles hugging in towards the spine) in order to stay balanced in neutral. Don't be afraid to challenge yourself and try neutral. If it's too much just return to a supported position.

***THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS NEVER EVER LET YOUR HIP POINTS BE HIGHER THAN YOUR PUBIC BONE! This is never correct and will injure your lower back. If you find that you are frequently rocking forward, and your lower back is feeling strained, stay in supported pelvis until your abs are strong enough. No injuries please!

images courtesy of think pilates.

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