Glossary Of Pilates Terminology – Preparing For Your Training!

Glossary Of Pilates Terminology – Preparing For Your Training!

Pilates is an exercise form that depends heavily on language; the ability to describe movement as much as a visual demonstration. The simple reason being that students are often lying on their back and as a result can’t easily see the teacher. You can demonstrate before commencing an exercise set which visual cues are often more powerful than verbal cues but this can also impede on the flow of the class as the student can be left passively waiting. As a result, we hope to impart some common and shared Pilates language, but also encourage descriptive thought imagery and language to lead an outstanding class. Here is a glossary of terms to get you started.

This is not an exhaustive list but rather practical words that can help to build a common language between you and your clients and across the industry. Some are scientific terminology used to describe positions across industries and others are exercise names given by either Joseph Pilates or other practitioners that have become widely known.

 

POSITIONS

Imprinted Pelvis/Spine: Lying supine with the lumbar spine in slight flexion & touching the mat.
Neutral Pelvis/Spine : Lying supine with a natural slight lumbar extension
Neutral Spine (standing):
 Standing tall with the natural & biomechanically ideal curves of the spine. Slight extension in cervical spine (neck), slight flexion in thoracic (upper back), slight extension in the lumbar spine (lower back).

 

DIRECTIONAL TERMS

Posterior Pelvic Tilt - Pelvis tips backward
Anterior Pelvic tilt - Pelvis tips forward
Adduction- Moving towards the centre of the body
Abduction - Moving away from the centre of the body
Lateral - Movements to the side of the body
Extension - Movements backwards of the body or joint
Flexion - Movements forward of the body or joint
Plantar flexion - Pointing your foot/ankle
Dorsi flexion - Flexing/curling your foot/ankleNeutral Pelvis/Spine - Lying supine with a natural slight lumbar extension

TERMINOLOGY CORE PILATES

Core - Can refer only to the abdominals or more broadly the whole torso trunk

Powerhouse - The term Joseph Pilates used to describe the centre of the body
T zone - Refers to the activation of the transverse abdominis and the pelvic floor contracting together
Stability - Holding stiff/still a location of the body
Centering/setting your core - Strengthening your core
Lateral Breathing - Breathing into the sides of the rib cage
Diaphragmatic Breathing - breathing into the whole diaphragm (front, side and back of rib cage).Core - Can refer only to the abdominals or more broadly the whole torso trunk

PILATES EQUIPMENT

Reformer machine - the classic and most popular machine you will learn to use in our Reformer Training course
Cadillac - a pilates machine that allows you to be suspended in the air
Pilates chair -
using springs like the reformer, it creates resistance in seated positions
Box - used in Reformer Pilates in addition to the reformer machine to create an elevated platform. 
Jumpboard - used in Reformer Pilates, allows the user to push off the board (whether with feet or hands) similar to a jumping fashion.

Cadillac reformer and Pilates chair.

Small equipment used in all types of Pilates includes:

Pilates ball
Pilates ring
Resistance band
Roller
Weights

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