Pilates: Pelvic Placement
By learning to stabilize your pelvis during all your Pilates exercises you protect your lower back from injury and generally create more of a stable base to move freely.
Step 1: To prepare
Lie down on your mat with your knees bent, feet hip distance apart and hands resting lightly on your hip bones.
We're going to start by finding the two positions of the pelvis used in Pilates - neutral and imprint.
Begin to gently rock your pelvis back and forth through its range of movement, noticing how you can tilt it quite far towards and away from you.
Neutral can be found between the two extremities when the pelvis is at its flattest. Imagine that you have a ball and you place it on your lower abdomen. When in neutral the ball shouldn't roll in either direction.
Now gently tilt your pelvis towards you, flattening your lower back completely into the floor - this is imprint.
Don't use your gluteus muscles or the backs of your legs to move into this position, it should just be the action of tilting and flattening.
Practise moving between neutral and imprint a few times to feel comfortable with the positions.
Step 2: Leg raises
Let's move on to practice maintaining the pelvis in imprint.
So first check you're in imprint. From here, inhale to prepare, as you exhale gently pick one foot off the floor, then inhale and lift the other foot, exhale and put one foot down, inhale and place the other foot then exhale to relax.
Repeat this 3 times checking that you're keeping the pelvis stable and abdominals firm throughout.
Step 3: Hip rotation
Now to practice maintaining the pelvis in neutral, first check that you're in neutral - from here, inhale, open one knee towards the floor and extend the leg, then exhale turn the leg in and draw it back to the start.
Repeat this twice more, paying most attention to keeping the opposite side of the pelvis stable then change legs - inhale open and extend, exhale turn the leg in and bend. Also do this twice more and relax to finish.