Mini eCourse – Exercise 5

Engaging the Deep Abdominal Muscles (Centring)

The deep abdominal muscles (transversus abdominis and multifidus) are responsible for stabilizing the spine, pelvic floor and pelvis. Some exercise regimes will simply instruct you to "suck in your stomach" to engage your abdominal muscles. This is a dumbed-down version of what is really required to really benefit your deep stabilizing muscles. Drawing the lower abdominal muscles in toward the spine is good, but it is far better to also locate and contract the pelvic floor at the same time in order to engage your transversus abdominis. This takes quiet concentration and practice for some time to get right and can be challenging while your body is in different positions. The engagement of the deep abdominal muscles is extremely important in being able to strengthen the core and carry out Pilates exercises correctly, safely and to best effect.

The pelvic floor muscles are those of the urethra. For women they also relate to the vagina and for men they have a relationship with the testicles. To explain further, to engage these muscles you can imagine yourself stopping the flow of urine. For men this also has the affect of raising the testicles. Combine this exercise with the action of drawing the lower abdominal muscles in by sucking the stomach back towards the spine. You can try sucking on a finger to help concentrate the required action.

The intensity of the engagement of these muscles can be increased and decreased with practice. Try drawing up the pelvic floor and draw in the transverses muscles as much as you can and then gradually release down to about 25% of the maximum. As a general guide, it is this feeling of 25% that you should target to maintain during your Pilates exercises.

 

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Try engaging the deep abdominal muscles by starting in the Relaxation Position. Ensure you are in Neutral Pelvis.

Breathe in wide into the chest, then as you breathe out lift the pelvic floor to 25% and draw in the transverses muscles to 25%.

 

 

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Placing your hands on your lower stomach will enable you to feel the muscles responding as you engage.

Continue to breathe normally but continue to hold the engagement of the deep abdominal muscles.

Watch to ensure the buttock muscles do not join in to assist with the engagement. Also concentrate on maintaining the natural neutral position of your pelvis and relaxation of the upper body.

 

 

The process of stabilizing the spine and pelvis by centring should then be practiced repeatedly in the Relaxation position and then also sitting, standing, lying face down and on all fours, in order to become fully capable of maintaining the engagement of the muscles regardless of the position of your body. Try engaging the muscles and holding for 10 seconds at a time. In addition, practice some on-off switching of the muscles, engaging with each out breath and disengaging with each in breath. Finally, try moving around with the 25% engagement held as you go about your daily activities.

Hereafter, you will be required to engage the deep abdominal muscles whenever an exercise is carried out.

 

About Pilates

So many people around the world have benefitted from the experience of regular involvement with Pilates. Young and old, super-celebrities, famous dancers, athletes, top-flight sports people… We want to be part of the movement that really opens up the availability of Pilates to help as many people as possible. Now it’s your turn to really get to know a little more about what Pilates is and how it can benefit you. So, we invite you to read on through the sections that follow. From a brief look at the fascinating history of how the technique was originally developed by Joseph Pilates, through details about what the teachings can do for you and how to go about participating. Please take the time to [...] Learn more...

Why buy an MPC course? I could get a cheap DVD!

Yes – you could just buy the latest celebrity Pilates DVD or book. But there’s just no way of knowing what the quality and guidance or structure that is likely to be on offer. We have even found free Pilates video clips on the internet, but if people were to actually try and follow along with them. ? Painful! Whatever else is out there – it all seems so random to us! That’s why we decided it was necessary to have proper, carefully designed, structured Pilates progressions on video for people to follow along with. In addition to the benefits of being able to access the course whenever and wherever you are (with an internet connection), you will be receiving structured [...] Learn more...

Weight Loss

It should always be borne in mind that we should all be concerned with the basics of good nutrition and regular exercise throughout our lives. However, there are times that many of us are affected by circumstances that mean we have strayed above our ideal weight. Weight loss is therefore a matter of carefully adjusting our entire lifestyle to gradually restructure our body. Part of that plan will involve dietary alterations to kick the bad habits and learn to enjoy healthy foods more. Other aspects involve detoxification of our systems, relaxation, proper rest through quality sleep and of course by building into our lives the correct exercise our body craves. So, lets begin … … take a look at the information we’ve prepared [...] Learn more...

Is Pilates easy exercise?

Well – yes and no. Pilates is about careful, slow, gentle movement and not the massive, rapid, demanding actions found in some sports or other exercise disciplines. But whilst it is a gentle form of exercise, the precision and control of body movement required is quite high. This takes careful practise and the development of good muscular strength, control and co-ordination to be able to master the movements. Thankfully, the exercise modules we have designed are very carefully structured to lead you on a journey of physical development. It cannot be emphasized enough that the modules must be followed exactly as presented and practised to steadily build up your abilities. (Naturally – if there is any movement that causes pain then [...] Learn more...

What Can Pilates Do For Me?

This is an easy question to answer, but the end results will not be achieved without effort and close attention to the lessons over a sustained period, so that Pilates becomes a normal part of all that you do in your everyday life. That way you can continually be energised in body and mind; with an ensuing enhancement of spirit. So, to answer the question: When followed correctly Pilates can help you achieve the following:- Release from pain Certain of the exercises demonstrated can help to ease back pain, pain in joints, discomfort and pain encountered during and after preganacy. Take careful note however, that the exercise needs to be focused on the particular pain. You cannot assume that all [...] Learn more...

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How to Get Started With Pilates

Before starting any new exercise regime it is important to be sure you are fit enough and will not cause yourself harm. Our advice to any new student is to have a medical check up by your doctor. Explain in detail to them what you propose to do and make sure they are happy for you to get started. To prepare for Pilates, it's useful to consider clothing, equipment, location and so on. It’s actually very easy to make a start, so don’t be put off. Where to Exercise You will benefit from finding a quiet space to exercise in. If possible, try and shut yourself away in an area which is free of clutter and distractions, where you will not be [...] Learn more...

Registration: -> Enrol Here For Membership of MyPilatesClub <-

NOW WITH 20% DISCOUNT Choose from the membership options below. The options are currently either Beginners Pilates (BP) or Back Care Pilates (BCP). The prices on this page are all discounted and you receive TWO WEEKS FREE, paying only $9 for the first month (that’s less than half price). You will also receive the FREE bonus products listed further down this page. Just click on the JOIN NOW button for the selection that suits you best. If you have struggled with back pain, go for the Back Care option. Otherwise, start off with the Beginners. You will then be taken through a secure transaction process operated by PayPoint.net (Metacharge). Trusting the payment transaction is successful, you will receive a payment confirmation email from [...] Learn more...