Humans are bipedal animals, with the various muscles and joints of the legs working together to produce controlled movement through space. In Pilates, we train in both gravity-eliminated and weight-bearing positions to optimize this upright functioning. By understanding how the hip, knee, ankle, and foot interact, we can more easily see where our clients’ movement is going wrong, and are more able to coach them safely and effectively.
In this Movement Science Made Simple course, we:
- Study the anatomy of the lower extremity, with an emphasis on how the hip and the foot affect the knee
- Learn Pilates protocols for promoting mobility and stability in the lower extremity
- Examine common structural variations, such as genu valgum (“knock knees”) and genu varum (“bow legs”) and learn to adapt our Pilates protocols to accommodate or correct them, as appropriate
One current model of the body’s “core” includes the abdominal and low back muscles, the thoracic diaphragm, and the pelvic floor. Because these muscles are also intimately involved in breathing, breath control and core control are inseparable. Understanding the implications of this model makes it easier to correctly and safely coach both Pilates exercises and functional movement.
In this Movement Science Made Simple course, we examine:
- How the abdominals, diaphragm, and pelvic floor work together as part of the breathing mechanism, and as movers and stabilizers of the lumbar spine and pelvis.
- The physiology of breathing, emphasizing the interplay between voluntary and involuntary regulation.
- The role of intra-abdominal pressure in low back stability, and the necessity of both abdominal “hollowing” and abdominal “bracing” movement strategies.
- Supportive and stabilizing functions of the pelvic floor, including its role in intra-pelvic stability.
Beginning with breathing exercises from Pilates, yoga, and physical therapy, we will build a strong foundation for our own movement. As the relationship between breath control and core control becomes clear, course participants will learn how breathing strategies can facilitate or undermine movement strategies.