Overview of the STOTT PILATES Basic Principles
The aim of contemporary, anatomically-based Pilates Training such as STOTT PILATES, is to develop optimal neuromuscular performance by focusing on core stability, while safely balancing muscular strength with flexibility. At Fluid Motion Maui, we introduce and reinforce these principles with every session to develop awareness of how the body moves.
Breathing properly promotes effective oxygenation of the blood, focuses the mind on each task and helps avoid unnecessary tension, particularly in the neck, shoulders and mid-back. Exhaling deeply can also help activate the deep support muscles of the body. In all exercises, the breath and awareness of stabilization should precede the actual movement.
It is key to emphasize stabilization of the pelvis and lumbar spine both statically and dynamically in all positions and throughout all movements. The two positions most often used are neutral and imprint. In neutral position, the natural anteriorly convex curve of the lumbar spine is present. The is the most stable and optimal shock-absorbing position and a good place from which to promote efficient movement patterns. An imprinted position combines a slight posterior pelvic tilt with slight lumbar flexion. The normal curve of the lumbar spine lengthens toward flexion by engaging the oblique abdominals, not pressing the back down or overusing the gluteal muscles.
Rib Cage Placement
The abdominal muscles must often be recruited to maintain the rib cage and the thoracic spine in proper alignment. Pay particular attention while inhaling or elevating the arms. Engagement of the obliques will ensure proper alignment at all times.
Scapular Stability and Mobility
Stabilizing scapulae on the rib cage is as important as contracting the abdominal muscles during the initiation of every exercise. When stability is absent, there is a tendency to overwork muscles around the neck and shoulders. Through the whole shoulder girdle, a sense of stability, not rigidity, should always be maintained.
Head and Cervical Placement
The cervical spine should hold its natural curve with the skull balancing directly above the shoulder when sitting in neutral. In most cases, the cervical spine should continue the line created by the thoracic spine in neutral, or during flexion, extension, lateral flexion and rotation.
If you are looking for ways to improve your posture and movement quality, book a Pilates session with us! Our team will guide you through a personalized program that will leave you feeling energized and moving with ease.