In most situations, Pilates is set up as a low impact form of exercise focused on the recruitment, integration and co-ordination of deep spinal and pelvic stabilising muscles. Sometimes, however, just a subtle error in technique, posture or execution could compromise all good intentions.
In the clinical pilates studio we see some common errors & I would like to point these out in the hope that your sessions will become more beneficial.
Getting into a ‘Neutral Spine’ – this refers to the position of your ribs and lower back relative to your pelvis. Completely flattening your spine, (very common trick!), or letting your back arch too much, can lead to cumulative and unnecessary stress on your spine. Ideally you would have the base of the ribs and the hip bones in alignment as you work in any posture. This reduces the loading to the joints, discs and muscles around the lower back, and allows a stable base for your core muscles to work from. This should be applied in the set up of all exercises and ideally through the day as well.
Practice rolling the hips forward and back to either extreme, then settle somewhere in the middle. Try to apply this to all postures through the day. Before you know it – you will be setting it automatically!
Virginia Sherriff June 2014