Five Basic Principles in STOTT PILATES®
The aim of contemporary, anatomically-based Pilates training such as STOTT PILATES®, is to develop optimal neuromuscular performance by focusing on core stability, while safely balancing muscular strength with flexibility.
Whether performed on a Mat or on specialized equipment, Pilates that incorporates modern theories of exercise science and spinal rehabilitation should include these biomechanical principles.
Breathing properly promotes effective oxygenation of the blood, focuses the mind on each task and helps avoid unnecessary tension, particularly in the neck, shoulders and mid-back.
Exhaling deeply can also help activate the deep support muscles of the body
It is key to emphasize stabilization of the pelvis and lumbar spine both statically and dynamically in all positions and throughout all movements.
The two positions most often used are neutral and imprint.
In a neutral position, the natural anteriorly convex curve of the lumbar spine is present.
In most cases, when lying supine, the triangle formed by the ASIS and the symphysis pubis should be parallel to the Mat.
This is the most stable and optimal shock absorbing position and a good place from which to promote efficient movement patterns.
Rib Cage Placement
The abdominal wall attaches to the lower ribs. The abdominal muscles must often be recruited to maintain the rib cage and the thoracic spine, in proper alignment.
Often the rib cage will tend to lift up in the supine position or deviate forward in a sitting position, extending the thoracic spine.
Pay particular attention while inhaling or elevating the arms. Engagement of the obliques will ensure proper alignment at all times
Scapula Movement and Stabilization
Stabilizing scapulae on the rib cage is as important as contracting the abdominal muscles during the initiation of every exercise.
When stability is absent, there is a tendency to overwork muscles around the neck and shoulders
Head and Cervical Placement
The cervical spine should hold its natural curve with the skull balancing directly above the shoulders when sitting in neutral. This position should also be maintained when lying on the back.
If there is a kyphosis or forward head posture, pads or pillows under the head may be necessary to support the head, and prevent over extension and unnecessary tension in the cervical spine
By introducing these principles and reinforcing them, awareness of how the body moves is developed. This mind-body awareness ensures focus on precision and control in any Pilates program
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