Thursday, February 14, 2008

Neutral Pelvis

I was telling my besties yesterday, via email as I am wont to do when I've had my a.m. Sugar Free Red Bull - yes, I'm an addict and I'm not giving it up even though it costs me $5 a day - my Stott Pilates training has really helped me understand anatomy, and I'm eager to learn more.

One of the five basic principles of pilates practice is stabilization of the pelvis. When we do the work we don't want to rock back and forth or side to side, and in order to stabilize we must recruit and engage the muscles of our pelvic floor and abdomen and lower back.

As illustrated, a neutral pelvis (and spine) is achieved when our ASIS and pubis symphysis line up on the same plane - not sure if it's the saggital plane or the other one but give me a break, I'm still learning! My pelvis naturally tilts anteriorly which defines a lordosis in my lumbar spine and manifests in very tight hip flexors. To put this in modern vernacular ... it's why I have a bodonkadonk.

We must always strive for that neutral position, however, and in order to get there I have to use my abdominal and pelvic floor muscles to find that position - not tuck my butt under or initiate from the lumbar spine. I have to pull from deep in the belly.

OK, that's enough of a pilates lesson for today. Do this - lie supine on the floor with knees bent and feet on the floor. Use the balls of your hand to find your ASIS (your hip bones), then form a triangle with your pointer fingers. Find your pubic bone with those, then determine if that area is flat on a horizontal plane - could you balance your martini there perfectly? If so, you're neutral. If not, you must correct one way or the other. An anterior tip (tipping forward) must be stabilized via the abs. A posterior tilt should be corrected through the sacrum and lumbar area.

Have a fabulous day!

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