Move, but don’t Move

I imagine this is one of the more frustrating phrases I say as a Pilates instructor, “move, but don’t move*.” Say what??? Let me explain…

Pilates is always trying to create more space in the body – we’re the gravity fighters. We are all loosing space within our vertebrae (spine) as we age. One of main goals of Pilates is to always have an oppositional pull. So even if you’re sitting, your sits bones are grounding you on the floor or chair and the top of your head should be lifting towards the ceiling or sky. To do that correctly and with effort means that your abdominal muscles have to work to support that lengthening of your spine. Make sense?

Sometimes, you don’t need to move your body in space, you just need to put more effort into lengthening your spine or reaching your legs from your hips more. It’s maybe a millimeter of movement, but that is where the real work comes in. I am often correcting clients to reduce their range of motion and work deeper in their backs and abs.

IMG_9675Many people are capable of making Pilates look decent, but are you using the deepest muscles in your body to get most out of each exercise? I’d like to see those beads of forehead sweat as proof.

Next time you are sitting or in a fitness class, check in with your body. Are you finding length in the movements? Are you pulling your abdominals in towards your spine without changing the position of your back? Are you balanced on your feet?

These checklists are a great way to stay present and get the most benefit.

*Please note: This phrase has been lovingly borrowed from my incredible mentor, Mr. Brett Howard. xo

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