I have recently uploaded a Pilates video to my Instagram & Facebook pages. The video explains how to set up your body in the correct position for supine exercises, then a few exercises for you to practise doing gentle core activation. This is ideal for anyone who hasn’t done Pilates before, or anyone who is struggling to maintain their neutral posture.
It’s important that you try get your body in the correct alignment so that you can begin to learn and practise strengthening your body in the right position. When starting to do core exercises it’s so important that you are aware of the different muscles and their function. One of the core muscles often talked about in Pilates is the transverse abdominis. The transverse abdominis (TVA) is a stabilising muscle which is deep beneath the rectus abdominis (6-pack muscle). The TVA wraps around the trunk like a corset, it works with other muscles to assist in stabilising the spine. If the stabilising muscles stop performing their role then other muscles take over resulting in decreased efficiency and increased risk of injury.
Breathing 😮💨 … In Pilates the breathing technique practised is conscious, it requires a full breath that expands the ribcage out to the sides and into the back. This is called lateral thoracic breathing where you breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth and try to breathe into the ribcage rather than the abdominal cavity.
Last year I herniated my L5S1 disc and once I had started to get more pain free movement back (which took about 4 months) I was able to be more aware of how I was standing and moving around. I have always had a very lordotic (excessive curve in my lumbar spine) posture and this certainly didn’t help my recovery and potentially even contributed to my injury in the first place. So this was something that I had to work on! I had to focus my mind on how my body felt as I started to exercise.
Initially I had to “switch on” my core muscles before doing anything strenuous (which at the time would have been just picking up something from the floor) my muscles had become so dysfunctional but instead of dwelling on it I took it as an opportunity to start from scratch and these are some of the exercises that I started with. These exercises are also similar exercises that I teach when someone comes to my class for the first time.
Try not to run before you can walk, I learnt the hard way. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can improve. But remember, exercise is a celebration of what the body can do – NOT a punishment for what you ate. Move in a way that makes your body feel good and function better. None of us want our bodies to suffer. Treat it with care and love.
I had great fun at the weekend filming a beginners Pilates video with the team @ Hamilton’s honour– in collaboration with Grounded kitchen– more videos coming soon! Keep a look out!
Please check with a health professional before doing these exercises.
email me – firstname.lastname@example.orgPilates for beginners