Pilates Exercises for Beginners the Fundamentals:
Pilates has the following main fundamentals – Alignment, Breath, Core, Coordination, Stamina, Relaxation, Concentration, and Flowing movements.
Pilates for Beginners – the main fundamentals you will be focussed on is alignment and core. In terms of alignment you will learn how our spine snakes from your head to your tailbone and how to move your spine in multiple ways. You will learn how to align your pelvis in a neutral position and how being out of neutral can affect your spine and therefore posture. For your core, you will learn how to engage your core and what muscles are involved in this process. In addition to this you will learn how to challenge your core muscles and how to keep a stable pelvis and spine whilst engaging your core.
All the rest will come into place in due course but you need to learn how to align your body and engage your core before thinking about the rest as it can be overwhelming and confusing if you have to think about it all.
At Men Do Pilates we want to make it easy for you and have recommended some Pilates exercises for beginners for you below. These exercises are low level exercises and suitable for complete beginners to Pilates. Pilates is an incredibly safe exercise regime that medical professionals recommend time and time again. However, like anything, learn the basics before jumping ahead so that it doesn’t cause you injury but also allows you to progress quickly.
Need a cushion & rolled up towel to support your head
- Lie on your back in the relaxation position which is the start point.
- Place feet at hip distance apart
- Align knees with hips
- Pelvis should be neutral, balanced, put fingers on pubic bone, heels of hands on hip bones, can you see if your pelvis is level and neutral
- To do this imagine bowl of water on your pelvis
- Tip the bowel of water away, then tip bowl towards the hips
- Find the middle point, pubic bone and hip bones are level
- Make sure it’s comfortable
- The different points of the hips will affect the spine
- When the pelvis if balanced it’ll affect the spine
- Find your sacrum, it’s at the base of your cervix near the tailbone
- Sacrum / lumbar spine (concave), thoracic spine (convex), neck and back of head
- The snake along the mat and elongate
- If you feel your chin is pointing up, add a towel or cushion.
HOW TO ENGAGE YOUR CORE MUSCLES:
Start by lying on the floor with knees bent. Place hands on your pelvis. Exhale and gently tighten your back passage (anus) and front passage (urethra). Under your hands you might feel a tightening in your lower abdominals – that’s your TA kicking in. If you can’t feel your lower abs then try to tighten your lower belly by tensing the area between your hip bones. A bit like drawing your hip bones together or tensing your belly to your spine. Hold the engagement and release and try not to hold your breath. x 8
HOW TO MOVE YOUR SPINE:
Starting in relaxation position lying on your back: Feet and knees at hip distance apart; pelvis and spine in a neutral position; use a head cushion to support your head if necessary; arms rested by your side.
- Inhale to prepare
- Exhale engage your pelvic floor and deep abdominals
- Tilt your public bone towards your belly button using your lower abs and start to lift the pelvis off the floor and the spine bit by bit, vertebrae by vertebrae
- Use your glutes to help you lift up making sure you’re not pushing through your lower back
- Lift and curl the spine to a point where the pubic bone is at the highest point, then it’s your hip bones and then it’s your chest
- Inhale maintain a position where your ribs are soft and your hips are as open as they can be (see picture)
- Peel the spine down vertebrae by vertebrae and bring the pelvis and spine back to neutral position lying on the floor.