The terms neutral pelvis and neutral spine are frequently heard in a Pilates studio. But what exactly is this position and why do many exercises work in this neutral zone?
Neutral Pelvis is defined as a position in which the anterior superior iliac spines (hip bones) and pubic symphysis are in a horizontal plane. The term neutral spine indicates that the natural curves of the spine are present. When in a neutral spine position there should be a little bit of space between you lower back and the mat. We often refer to this neutral position as a reference point during a Pilates workout.
There are lots of benefits for performing exercises in this neutral position.
1. Encourages balanced muscular development of the pelvis and correct muscle recruitment
2. Reinforces correct posture and alignment
3. Alleviates unwanted stresses in pelvis
4. Strengthens muscles that help stabilise and support lower back and pelvis.
Not all Pilates exercises work in a neutral position. The pelvis is extremely dynamic and at times exercises may be performed with a posterior tilt (lower back imprinted in the mat). A neutral pelvis is ideal, however this position will differ from person to person. At times it may be necessary to work in more of a posterior tilts to help relax the muscles of the lower back and access more abdominal muscles.
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