Any one that has been to a Pilates Class before knows that there is a lot to think about if you want to achieve the Perfect Pilates posture. Tuck this under, stick this out, suck that in…. oh and don’t forget to breathe. It can all get a bit confusing, and sometimes overwhelming, especially if it is your first time in a Reformer Class. New machine, new space, new people and new posture…woah. Well, I am going to try to make it all a bit simpler and break it down into 5 Key Points.
When setting up your posture, the easiest way to make sure you have everything in check, is by doing a little body scan. So, lets start at the top shall we?
Start lying on your back with your knees slightly bent and feet on the floor and let’s scan from the head and neck first.
1. Head and Neck Position
Gently tuck your chin towards your chest, as if you are holding a peach between your chin and your chest. You just want to hold the peach softly without squishing it.
Then imagine that your head is a helium balloon, and think of your head just gently floating above your shoulders
2. Shoulder Position
With your arms resting by your side, reach your finger tips towards your toes letting your shoulder blades reach down your back. Then shrug the shoulder blades towards your ears. Once you have done this find a resting place half way between the two of these positions
Next gently open out through the front of your chest and feel the backs of the shoulders sink down into the floor.
3. Rib Cage Position
Try to imagine that you have some heavy books resting on your ribs and let the base of your ribs sink into contact with the floor.
4. Lower back position – Neutral Spine
To Find your neutral spine keep everything else nice and still and then gently flatten your lower back into the floor, reaching your tail bone to the ceiling. Then arch your lower back pressing your tail bone to the floor, creating space between your lower back and the floor. Once You have found these two positions come and rest half way in between, in Neutral Spine.
5. Hip, knee and foot position
Finally, with a slight bend in the knees, try to make a nice straight line from your hip to your knee to your foot on both sides. And try to have your weight nice and even through both feet.
Once You have done all of this you have found your Perfect Pilates Posture, and it is time to activate those deep abdominals… and Breathe. But, that’s a lesson for another day.
This may seem like information overload to begin with, but I promise you, if you practice this, it will all become second nature soon enough.
Next thing you know you’ll be strutting the streets of Buninyong with the best posture ever!
Steph & The Pilates HQ Team