SPINE

FLEXING THE FOOT

SECOND POSITION ARMS & FEET

FIFTH POSITION ARMS & FEET

terms.

our group fitness classes come with their own special terminology.  don't freak!  we don't expect you to come to class knowing everything your instructor does; but here's a little cheat sheet to help you get started!

POINTING THE FOOT

FIRST POSITION ARMS & FEET

3 DIMENSIONAL BREATHING

Inhaling to fill the lower lobes of the lunges, and exhaling as your ribs weave back in to their start position.  We always inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.


FIRST POSITION; feet

In our fitness classes, feet in a V; heels together toes apart.  Turnout comes from rotation of the hips.  This is slightly different than traditional ballet; as we don't overly turnout the feet.  Also called, Pilates V.


SECOND POSITION; feet

Feet turned out like first position, but heels are at least hip distance apart- so feet do not touch.  Sometimes we go into a WIDE SECOND POSITION, in which case the feet are further apart.  

SECOND POSITION; arms
Arms to the sides of the body, parallel to the floor, palms facing forward.

FIFTH POSITION; arms
Biceps by the ears, slight bend in elbow, palms face inward.  Think jewelry box ballerina.


ABS

Muscles in the front of the stomach; every exercise at our studio requires you to actively engage your core; stabilizing to strengthen the torso and protect the spine.

    AB MUSCLE TERMS: scroll to bottom of page for image

           Rectus: think six- pack region of the torso

           Internal Obliques: on lower sides of the waist, help with side bends

           External Obliques: on sides of the waist, allow body to flex from side to side

           Transversus: deepest layer of abdominal muscles; acts as an internal corset.  


ARABESQUE

A position on one leg with the other leg raised behind the body and extended in a straight line.


ATTITUDE

A variation on the arabesque. The extended leg is raised behind the body but bent at the knee at an angle of 90 degrees.


BARRE

Pronounced "bar" is term that refers to the ballet barre we use in class.  This barre aids in executing our exercises and helps with balance.


BATTEMENT

When a dancer extends his/her leg to the front, back or side.


CARRIAGE

Part of the reformer, where you sit/lie/kneel during pilates exercises.  


CERVICAL SPINE

The cervical vertebrae are the top seven bones in the spinal column; they support the neck and head.  You'll often hear your instructor cue "keep your head in line with your spine."


DEMI PLIE

A half plie; bending down only halfway.


DORSI FLEX

To flex the foot.


EXTEND

To lengthen a muscle; usually straightening at a joint.

Examples:

Extend your arm- straighten your arm (at the elbow)

Extend your leg- straighten your leg (at the knee)


FLEX

To contract a muscle; usually "bending" at a joint.  

Examples:

Flexing your arm is the same as bending your arm (at the elbow). 

Flexing the legs is the same as bending your legs (at the knee).


HYPEREXTENSION

Bringing a limb to a straightened position that is out of its normal range of motion; when this happens, one is generally "locking out" at the elbow or knee- we try to avoid this!


IMPRINTED SPINE

A gentle "imprint" of the spine towards the mat (or invisible mat).  We use this to protect the spine; commonly used when both feet are lifted off the mat/carriage in a pilates class.  Core muscles engage to initiate a slight pelvic tilt into this imprint position.


LUMBAR SPINE

5 vertebrate of the lower back


NEUTRAL SPINE

Keeping your spine in its natural alignment; think natural curve of the spine (especially your lumbar (low back).  Instead of pressing your lower back down (into a mat, real or imaginary) keep it in its natural position.  You can find your neutral spine by aligning your hip bones and pubic bone on the same horizontal plane.  Don't worry, we go over this in EVERY class!


PELVIS

The lower part of the abdomen located between the hip bones;  supports the spinal column.  We often try to stabilize the pelvis during pilates exercises, by recruiting the abdominals.  


PEVLIC FLOOR (muscles) 

The deep internal muscles engaged when halting urination or performing a Kegel exercise. Your instructor may cue "a gentle pull up on the pelvic floor."  


PEVLIC TILT

This is a position of the pelvis and is also knowns as a posterior pelvic tilt. It is established by dropping the tailbone down and pulling the abdominals up and in toward your spine.  This is a SUPER SMALL range of motion!


PLIE

A movement in which you bend and straighten the knees, usually with the hips turned out and the heels pressed together.  Knees should track over the first and second toes when in the bent portion of the plie.  Ribs stay stacked over the hips, with a neutral spine.  There are many variations of plies that you'll learn in class.


PLANTAR FLEX

To point the foot.


PRONE

Laying face down; or on your stomach.


PULSE

Tiny movements (think: up an inch, down an inch) that work small muscles; often times creating that barre "shake" or "tremble" of the legs.


RELEVE

Means “rising”.  In our fitness classes, we aim to bring our weight to the balls of the feet (centered).  We avoid overextending at the ankle joint.  Relevé may be done in the first, second, fourth or fifth position and many other positions.


SEAT

Your glutes and thighs; your seat will get a serious workout in all of our barre classes!  BOTTOMS UP targets the seat for the entire class!


STABLIZING (arm/leg)

The "frozen" or still  leg/arm that is not moving.   You'll generally feel a "burn out" in the stabilizing limb.  It's very challenging to stabilize!  


SUPINE

Lying on your back, or face up to the ceiling.


WORKING (leg/arm)

The moving leg/arm that is "working."  Example: If we are holding a plie, one hand on the barre and the other moving (usually with a 2 lb weight in the hand), the working arm would be the moving arm with the weight.