ABC Tips for Beginners – Part 2 (2-minute read)

ABC Tips for Beginners – Part 2 (2-minute read)

So previously, we were talking about how to fast track your Pilates training result. Have you started practicing your Pilates breathing? And, how was it? If you haven’t begun, go back to the previous blog entry to find out why it is so important to practice breathing as your Pilates homework and where to begin. Here ‘s the link:
After getting the hang of Pilates breathing, let’s take a look at alignment and posture.
We are training our body towards good proprioception of body alignment if we have developed a good habit in holding up our body correctly for everyday activities. Then, it would be a lot easier for us to transpose that to keeping good alignment and posture for other activities.
In the Pilates ABC, A represent alignment. It is the foundation prior good breathing and centering. To practice your breathing and centering correctly, our body must be align in the right places. Good alignment reduces joint pressure and brings our body in the best structural set up for performing movement patterns that our musculoskeletal system is designed for. Apart from that, our joints will be able to move with the optimal range healthily and cheating movements are less likely to take place (i.e. using another muscle group to perform the movement). So practicing Pilates with correct alignment could strengthen our body and correct our posture. On the contrary, practicing Pilates without good alignment would increase the chance of injuries and indeed make the postural condition worse.
Therefore, it is important to reinforce appropriate posture before and throughout every exercise, whether it be standing, seated or lying on the mat. In a typical Mindful Pilates class, you would often notice the following key areas to be addressed:
1.     Neutral Spine
2.     Neutral Pelvis
3.     Neck alignment
4.     Shoulder stabilisation
5.     Leg alignment
6.     Engagement of the pelvic floor muscles

Understanding physical movements without good alignment could develop bad movement habits, misuse of muscle groups, and increase the risk of injuries. How could we prepare ourselves then? And what is the correct alignment?
Continue reading this short article on alignment extracted below for your reference: It is found from
 Correct Alignment | Pilates
Posture experts have described ideal alignment in terms of the location of body parts used as landmarks, relative to a vertical line that runs down through your centre. Ideal postural alignment causes the least amount of musculoskeletal pain and strain.

In a standing position, side view, visualise the plumb line:
·       Tip of the ear is aligned with the shoulder joint, with the chin parallel to the floor
·       The line should pass down through the lumbar curve just posterior to the hip joint
·       It should pass anterior to the knee joint and slightly anterior to the ankle

Plumb line points during side view in neutral or ideal alignment:
·       Ear lobe
·       Bodies of cervical vertebrae
·       Shoulder joint – tip of the shoulder blades
·       Bodies of the lumbar vertebrae
·       Slightly posterior of the hip joint (through the greater trochanter of the femur)
·       Slightly anterior of the centre of the knee joint
·       Slightly anterior of the lateral malleolus (ankle bone) 

Imagine you are creating footprints in the sand and that your feet are like a tripod with the weight evenly balanced over both feet and evenly across the toes and heels. Imagine you have a golden thread on the top of your head and it is drawing you upwards, lengthening your spine.


- Karen Leung, Head of Pilates at Mindful Pilates in Central Hong Kong

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