New to Pilates?…

 

Don’t worry! Here are the basic principles of Pilates:

  • Breathing

When breathing you should inhale through the nose and out through the mouth. Breaths should be taken before you engage the muscles. Our bodies need oxygen to heighten concentration and relax the muscles.

  • Pelvic area

You should be aware of your neutral position – a key position in Pilates. To find your neutral spine lie on the floor with knees at a 45 degree angle. Rock your pelvis back and forth as if you’re peeling yourself away from the floor one vertabrae at a time. This is to feel the tilt of the pelvis. Most people have their spines in either a tucked or tilted position. To be in neutral spine your body has to be with the lower abs flat and a small natural curve of the lower spine from the floor. Your bottom rib should also be touching the floor.

  • Rib cage area

The rib cage must also be neutral to achieve more freedom of movement. It is difficult to control the rib cage in order to breathe efficiantly but eventually you should be able to connect in your upper abdominals, inhale in to your middle back and lengthen up! You should already have a good command of your abdominals before this can be accomplished.

  • Scapular area and movement

Scapular refers to the shoulder blades. They have a lot of mobility which needs to be stablised using muscles. The shoulder blades support our spine but when this support is absent the neck and shoulders are overworked = pain! The aim is to ensure the scapulae are connected by muscles whilst fitting into the back of the rib cage with no edges popping out. There are scapula isolation exercises designed to help you attain this.

  • Head and cervical area

When sitting in neutral the skull should balance directly above the shoulders. An exercise to engage your head is to lie in neutral position, then gently nod the chin towards your chest while lengthening the back of the neck. Keep your head on the floor throughout. We put a lot of strain on the neck as our heads are so heavy so neutral position is a useful way to combat this.

 

Basic positions

 

GET STARTED! This website shows a range of good basic positions for you to begin Pilates…

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/fitness/workouts/beginners+pilates,9993