A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The group of Core Muscles
(rectus abdominus, internal obliques, external obliques and the transverse abdominal muscle) situated in the front of the stomach. They control and support movement in the spine spanning from the ribcage to the pelvis. Also referred to as the Abdominal Muscles
A muscle contraction or movement that moves a limb away from the Midline
of the body. For example, lifting the arm away from your side.
A muscle contraction or movement that moves a limb inward towards to the Midline
of the body.
To thoroughly combine attention and movement with an understanding of how muscles are activated or relaxed, body position and placement.
Designed by Joseph Pilates
to enhance breathing, develop both the arms and legs, and work the Spine
to help correct posture and movement.
A even focus between all areas of the body.
Incorporating all of the fundamental principles of Pilates in one exercise, the Breathing 100’s works everything: your abs, legs,lungs and mind.... Not surprisingly, the position is held for 100 beats! A fundamental exercise in Pilates. Also known as "The hundred"
Used to provide additional gravitational resistance during Pilates exercises. Made up of a raised horizontal table top surrounded by a four-post frame (to which a variety of bars, straps, springs and levers are affixed), the Cadillac is one of the most effective and versatile of all Pilates equipment. Also called “Trapeze Table"
or "The Rack"
Supporting the neck and head, these are the top 7 bones in the spinal column
Pilates training that strictly adheres to the traditional exercises and methods of Joseph Pilates
More commonly known as the "tailbone", the coccyx is made up of 3 or 4 fused bones located directly under the Sacrum
Concentric Muscle Contraction:
The shortening of the muscle when it is tensed - a good example of this would be during the ‘Breathing 100’s’
where the muscles of the Abdominals
are tensed (or concentrically contracted) in order to support the Spine
Based upon his theory of "Mind and Body
unity”, contrology was the original term that Joseph Pilates
used to describe his method of exercise. Now commonly referred to as Pilates.
Often used to described the "girdle of strength" in the center of your body located just below your navel, "The Core” is made up of the Abdominal Muscles
, pelvic girdle, hips, buttocks and lower back. Also known as “The Powerhouse”
Commonly assumed to only be the Abdominal Muscles
, the term “core muscles” also includes the muscles of the back, pelvic floor, hips, buttocks and the diaphragm. All these muscles work to keep your trunk stable.
Refers to the muscular control needed to maintain stability within the Abdominal Muscles
. Core stability supports the maintenance of good posture and is the foundation for all arm and leg movements.
Allowing us to move in a safe and functional way, core strength pertains to the balanced development of the Abdominal Muscles
, the back, the Pelvic Floor
, buttocks and the Diaphragm
- all of which stabilize, align and move the Abdominal Muscles
A large muscle located horizontally between the chest cavity and stomach cavity, just below the lungs.
Also known as "belly breathing" or "deep breathing", this is achieved by contracting the Diaphragm
and is marked by the expansion of the abdomen rather than the chest.
A pad of shock-absorbing cartilage between two Vertebrae
Eccentric Muscle Contraction:
A muscle contraction that results in lengthening the muscle. For example, stretching your arm from a bent position to a straight position causes the triceps to not only tense as they straighten, but also to lengthen as the distance between the joints is increased - thus creating an eccentric muscle contraction.
The straightening out of a limb in such a way that it extends away from the joint, increasing the joint angle. Lifting a leg straight off the ground is an extension, as it is pulling the leg away from the hip joint.
One of the core Abdominal Muscles
. Located on the right and left side of the waist (from the bottom of your rib cage to your pubic area) this muscle helps you bend from the side or twist. (Also see Internal Obliques)
First Generation Teacher:
Refers to any teacher of Pilates who trained/studied under Joseph Pilates
. Romana Kryzanowska, Ron Fletcher, Mary Bowen, Bruce King are amongst the most noted.
Tending to measure between 55cm - 75cm, these balls can be used in combination with a number of Pilates exercises. Also known as exercise balls, balance balls and stability balls.
The moving of any limb in such a way that the joint angle is decreased, thereby getting the limb closer to the joint to which it is attached. For example, bringing the knee towards the chest in a marching type position.
Foot “On The Walk”:
A position where the heels are lifted off the floor and the full weight of the foot is balanced on the forefoot only.
Exercises designed to improve improve muscular endurance, overall strength, coordination, Balance
, posture and agility in such a way that people can integrate them into activities routinely performed in everyday life.
Frequently used to protect the neck and back from injury, it’s a position where the chin is slightly tucked. Also referred to as “chin tucked”.
A group of 8 muscles that engage when the legs are flexed from the hip joint:
Tensor Fasciae Latae
Straightening out a limb to point where a joint moves beyond its normal or healthy range of motion. Occurs most often in the knees and elbows. Because of the stress and weight it places on joints (due to the fact that the surrounding muscles are not engaged in a position of proper support) hyperextension is avoided in Pilates.
Imprinting the Spine:
Frequently used to protect the Lower Back
, it’s the action of drawing your Abdominal Muscles
“in and up” when Supine
so that Spine
stretches, pressing each Vertebrae
flat against the Mat
; ideally no space should exist between the two.
The point at which the end of a muscle attaches to the bone; Usually an area of increased mobility.
Workiing your body as whole with several different muscle groups engaged simultaneously to control and support movement and achieve a mind-body
Running diagonally between each rib, these muscles help to control the expansion and contraction of your rib cage when you breathe.
Deep Abdominal Muscles
, located under the External Obliques
. They help with side bending and Rotation
of the Spine
and rib cage.
Legendary pioneer of the Pilates method. (For more information see the About Joseph Pilates
The jump board is used in place of the foot bar on the Reformer
. It allows for continuous jumping exercises that add a cardiovascular component to Pilates workouts. The jump board can be used without jumps for low-impact repetitions that promote superior control of the lower part of the body. Advanced routines on the jump board are effective for power, coordination, core strength
, and improving athletic performance.
A band of fibrous tissue that connects bones or cartilage at a joint.
The 5 large Vertebrae
located in the lower Spine
. Most commonly referred to as lower back.
Magic Circle or Ring:
A simple resistance device comprising ofMa a flexible ring with handles. Incorporated into Mat
or equipment workouts, or used by themselves they are an efficient way to strengthen and tone arms and legs.
A firm, padded floor mat used to lay on when performing Pilates mat work
Laying the groundwork for all other Pilates exercise equipment, Mat
exercises use gravity and body weight as resistance. Contrary to what many people think, mat classes are not easier than equipment classes for beginners!
An anatomical direction referring to an invisible line running vertically through the middle of the body.
One of the core tenants of Pilates belief is that the mind and body need to connect with each other in order for us to truly benefit from an activity.
An adjustment that is made to a Pilates exercise to accommodate the needs, goals, health condition or injury history of the client. For example, Pilates workouts are frequently modified for Pregnant Women
undergoing rehab or clients with Back Pain
Navel to Spine:
See the “Powerhouse”
Maintaining the natural curve of the neck and counteracting compression of the Vertebrae
, a lengthened neck is an essential element of good posture achieved by sending energy out the top of the head.
The pelvis is in neutral position when the pubic bone and hip bone are in the same plane. Having both a neutral pelvis and Spine
are crucial reference points for Pilates exercises.
A position that the Spine
is put into in order to maintain its natural curve during exercise (as opposed to flattening it out or pressing it into the floor). Considered the ideal position for the spine to be in, Pilates encourages you to identify and achieve your neutral spine at all times. A misaligned spine causes muscles to compensate and work too hard, which can result in undue stress, fatigue, pain, and potential injury. Neutral spine can be found by aligning the hip bones on the same horizontal plane as the pubic bone (which is also known as neutral pelvis
Refers to when the feet, ankles, knees, and legs are directly under the hip joints with the toes pointing forward.
Pelvic Floor Muscles:
A sheet of muscle located between the pubic bone, Coccyx
, and the ischium. While most types of popular exercise generally ignore the pelvic floor muscle, Pilates specifically incorporates these very important structural muscles into the work.
A basin shaped structure located at the lower part of the Abdomen
located between the hip bones. It supports the spinal cord
Creating a slight outward rotation of the thighs that originates from the hip socket, your heels are pressed together the toes are pointed outward at a 45° angles. A position commonly used in Pilates exercises.
Principles of Pilates: With its unique focus on conditioning the body while engaging the mind, the Pilates method is based upon the following key principles:
Breathing: Deep inhalation and exhalation increase lung capacity and help maintain the body’s ability to stretch and release tension. In order to gain optimal control, every movement in Pilates has a deliberate and conscious breath pattern.
The concept that all physical movements originate from and are supported by The Core
The conscious control and understanding of movement as it relates to each body part, not just the overall motions of the exercise.
All movements are performed with complete muscular control in a deliberate manner.
Flow is the activation of each muscle, breath and body position with perfect timing. There are no movements in Pilates that require momentum or static positioning
To achieve the full benefit of each individual exercise, Pilates moves require complete structural awareness, exactness and accuracy of the placing and aligning of body parts in relation to each other.
Popping the ribs:
Spreading or splaying the ribs (which weakens your “Core”
), often leading to an overarching on the back.
See “The Core”
Laying on your front in a face-down position.
The large muscle (made up 4 parts) located at the front of the thigh which extends the leg.
The muscles running down the front of the stomach that,
when well defined give a 6 pack/washboard look.
A piece of resistance exercise equipment made up of springs, straps, pulleys and a gliding platform upon which you can sit, kneel, stand, or lie on the front, back, or side. Designed by Joseph Pilates
Twisting around a central axis.
A triangular bone made up of 5 fused Vertebrae
located above the Coccyx
, at the top of the pelvis.
Either of the 2 large, flat triangular bones that form the back of the shoulder. Also known as "the shoulder blade".
“Scooping Your Abs”:
A visualisation term used by Pilates instructors, it refers to when you draw the deepest layers of your Abdominal Muscles
up and in, to stabilize the body and support the back. Originating from the center of the body this movement helps to flatten your abs.
Before beginning any Pilates exercise the body needs to be still. This makes for a safe starting place for any movement. The attention paid to any body part not moving is just as important as the part is.
The column of bone that runs from the skull to the small of the back. It surrounds and protects the spinal cord.
Lying on your back, face up.
A Pilates position where the practitioner is lying Supine
, with legs raised and bent so the thighs are perpendicular to the floor with the skins parallel to the floor - creating an imaginary “tabletop”.
A band of flexible, fibrous tissue connecting a muscle to bone. The Achilles tendon, located at the back of the heel, is a common tendon that tightens, leading to pain in the calf muscles.
The 12 Vertebrae
that make up the middle section of the Spine
and connect to the rib cage.
The deepest of the Abdominal Muscles
that help stabilize "The Core"
See The Cadillac
Located at the back of the upper arm, this muscle extends or straightens the elbow.
The use of opposing forces to stabilize the body. Grounding the feet while lifting through the Spine
and head towards the ceiling is a good example of Two-way energy.
The 32 to 34 bones that make up the Spine
. Made up of three groups - Cervical
- each vertebrae is separated by inter-vertebral discs that add cushioning and elasticity. Pilates exercises help balance, strengthen and support the muscles around the full length of the spine.
Zip it up:
A visualization tool used by Pilates instructors to describe the pulling in of the Abdominal Muscles
towards the Spine
, whilst engaging the Pelvic Floor
in order to create Core Stability
Develop greater stamina Create stronger, leaner muscles Flatten and tone the abs Improve muscle tone
Boost energy levels Establish better posture Promote weight loss Sharpen mental awareness
Safely rehab injuries Improve athletic performance Sleep better Reduce back pain