Video:What is Your Midline in Pilates?with Katrina Hawley
Proper alignment is an integral part of exercising your muscles evenly in Pilates. Learn how to find your body's midline in Pilates in this how-to video from About.com.See Transcript
Transcript:What is Your Midline in Pilates?
Hi! I'm Katrina Hawley and I'm here for About.com. Today, we're going to talk about how to find the midline in Pilates exercises so that you can have proper alignment.
What is the Midline?
When thinking about posture and alignment in Pilates exercises, you want to have in your mind's eye a midline. Imagine if you will cutting your body in half, coming down from the top of your head, through your forehead, through your nose and chin, through your sternum, all the way through to your belly button, down through your pelvis, so there are equal halves on each side of your body. And then you want to take this midline with you on all of your exercises.
Finding Your Midline in Tabletop Position
Imagine you're in a tabletop position. You'll have this midline in your mind's eye - and then in this tabletop position, you can think of your knees equidistant from the midline, your lower legs equidistant from the midline. This can help you find pelvic stability as you exhale and tap one toe and bring it back up, inhale in between, think of this midline as you exhale and tap the other toe.
Engaging Your Inner Thighs to Find Your Midline
Engaging your inner thighs is an important way of finding your midline in Pilates exercises. The adductor squeeze is an important way to do this. For this exercise, you'll lie on your back, plant your feet on the ground, bring your knees and ankles together. Take a big inhale and squeeze as you bring your inner thighs together. Imagine your spine lengthening. Imagine the line that's in your head getting longer and longer as you squeeze your inner thighs. Inhale as you release. Exhale as you squeeze.
Finding Your Midline in Quadruped
Another position where it can be very helpful to know where your midline is is in quadruped, on your hands and knees. On your hands and knees, you want to imagine this midline cutting your body in half, reaching through the top of your head and reaching through your tail, and then reaching with your hands and knees, you want to make sure the placement is equidistant from the center. And your knees are equidistant from the center, underneath your hips.
Using the Midline in Extension
Another common position in Pilates classes are extension exercises when you're lying on your belly - and the midline is very important in this exercise, too. When you're lying on your belly, you want to reach your head away from your tail, and you want to imagine that your shoulders are reaching away from that midline, while your shoulder blades are sliding down your back and sending themselves toward your midline. This position helps stabilize your thoracic spine, so that when you're doing the extension, it's safer for your entire spine and you don't take it all in your low back.
In the classic Pilates z-set position, it's also important to find your midline. When you're sitting here, your legs are not symmetrical, so it's important to find that midline in the center of your pelvis and let it reverberate throughout your spine, out the top of your head, so that you're moving symmetrically, even though your hips are both externally and internally rotated.
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