Entries in Anatomy (32)
Are you looking for a guide to the anatomy behind Pilates? Something straight forward and well illustrated? Look no further than Pilates Anatomy by Rael Isacowitz and Karen Clippinger.
Pilates Anatomy, published by Human Kinetics, offers a detailed and comprehensive look at the muscle work behind Pilates exercises. The introduction contains a comprehensive discussion of the six principles of Pilates and focuses on breath. A deep understanding of breathing technique is important for new teachers to understand in order to better educate clients. Pilates Anatomy presents 45 exercises detailed with illustrations, description of targeted and accompanying muscles, choreography, and cueing. The cueing is what sets this book apart from other anatomy books.
This book is very easy to follow and is perfect for new instructors and a great reference tool for seasoned instructors. Students looking to more fully understand and appreciate their practice of Pilates will not find Pilates Anatomy intimidating but empowers. It can be difficult to give reading recommendations to student due to the technical nature of most anatomy books. Pilates Anatomy can be purchased at most major retailers and retails at only $19.95.
Pick up your own copy of Pilates Anatomy and embrace your Pilates journey, as teacher or student.
By Madeline Black
It is not uncommon to see Pilates teachers use props during a session. The intention is to enable the client to move in optimal alignment. But, is it appropriate to use a prop? Yes, when there is an understanding of why the prop is being used and it facilitates the intended response. But too many times, props are used out of habit.
One common prop habit is placing a ball between the thighs (or knees) while performing Footwork on the Reformer. The ball brings the legs together and/or holds them in place, preventing a client from splaying open her thighs when pressing the carriage out and knocking her knees when returning the carriage home. This can actually hinder the healthy movement sequence intended in this exercise, and I would suggest that we break this habit. Our goal is to encourage optimal leg alignment while executing Pilates in a dynamic and functional way, not in a held position. Here’s a closer look at why it doesn’t serve the client to use a ball during Footwork.
It’s time again for another Pilates on Call, our open Q&A with Pilates and movement experts. Liz Koch, an expert on the psoas, has kindly volunteered to answer any and all of your questions about this deep, important muscle. For a general background on the posas, you can read her article Intro to the Psoas.
If you have questions about how the psoas relates to Pilates, now is your chance to get answers. You can leave your questions for Liz in the comments section below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Liz will get to them as quickly as possible, but might need a day or two to respond.
ABOUT LIZ KOCH
Liz Koch is an international somatic educator and creator of Core Awareness™ focusing on awareness for exploring human potential. With over 30 years experience working with and specializing in the iliopsoas, she is recognized in the somatic, bodywork and fitness professions as an authority on the core muscle. Liz is the author of The Psoas Book, Unraveling Scoliosis, Core Awareness: Enhancing Yoga, Pilates, Exercise & Dance, and The Psoas and Back Pain. Approved by the USA National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education provider, Liz Koch is a member of the International Movement Educators Association (IMA). Learn more at coreawareness.com.
By Liz Koch
Feeling vibrant within your core ultimately depends upon a healthy, juicy and responsive psoas. The psoas (pronounced so-as) is your core muscle and an integral aspect of a centered and functional body. As a major player in back pain, knee injuries and tight hip sockets, it is often the exhausted psoas that disrupts range of motion, as well as digestion, bladder functioning and sexual pleasure.
WHERE IS THE PSOAS?
Your psoas is located deep within your core, growing out of the spine at approximately the twelfth thoracic vertebra (the area called the solar plexus), and moves through the pelvis, crossing over the ball and socket joints into the inner thighbones at the lesser trochanter. Being the only muscle to connect your spine to your legs, the psoas moves through the core like a pendulum synchronizing the free swinging of the leg when walking.