Are You Engaging Your Abs or Your Butt?

In almost every exercise it is easy for another part of the body to take over and do the work of the muscles we are targeting.  This is particularly true when we do a pelvic tilt or rock from imprint (basically a flat lower back) to neutral (the natural curve in your low back).  Often instead of initiating imprint using the abdominals, people will squeeze the butt.  It gets the job done, but you then you miss all that wonderful ab work.  The glutes are a major mover and a big muscle.  They can create an imprinted position when called upon to engage that way.  But if you want to strengthen and improve control of your abdominals, particularly to counteract back pain and help protect the back when moving, you need to make the glutes quiet down and learn to fire the abs.  So how can you tell if you are engaging your abs or your butt?

What Do You Feel?

Start by just stopping to notice what you feel.  Is your butt squeezing when you imprint?  Do you feel like your legs are involved by sort of pushing into the floor?  Do you even feel the abs doing the work?  If […]

Are You Engaging Your Abs or Your Butt?2018-03-07T16:19:39-04:00

Why We Do the 100

Last Saturday was day 50 of 100 days of the 100. That means that we’ve come up with over 50 ways to do the 100….and we now have just under 50 more to go (so don’t forget to share your photos and videos!) Maggie doing the 100 at an historic site in Wethersfield. Maggie doing the 100 at an historic site in Wethersfield.

The 100 is an exercise that you will find in almost any Pilates class. It involves lying with your back on the mat, body curled up, holding the position and completing 100 arm beats. It typically comes early in class and gets the entire body warmed up by getting your breath going and your blood moving. The exercise engages all of your major abdominal muscles, helping you to build strength that will not only assist you in class, but that you will be able to take into everyday life.

In order to hold your body up for an extended period of time, as you do in the 100, you must have endurance, specifically abdominal endurance. The only way to get endurance is to build it, which the […]

Why We Do the 1002017-12-29T21:21:21-04:00