Active Pilates’ tip 3 – spinal articulation

The third core principal of Polestar Pilates is spinal articulation (distribution of forces) whereby you’re strengthening the muscles and surrounding joints while increasing flexibility to the body.

As my grandmother used to say - looking after your spine is crucial to overall wellbeing and making sure you feel energised. It’s important we take care of our spine at an early age to make sure it can provide functional support as we age. The spine’s capacity to support us is only as good as its ability to articulate (move in segments).

Spinal Articulation refers to exercises where your focus is on stacking your spinal vertebrae one on top of another like Lego cubes - from the coccyx (tailbone) through the spine, to the crown of the head and vice versa. 

How it is done in actual practice? 

Good spinal movement (articulation) really depends on your muscle control, postural awareness and ability to use your core muscles actively and utilise  the superficial muscles (the top layer) as stabilisers. When your body works well, you’ll be able to engage your muscles in synergy with one another.

 The actual spine movement is unique to each individual and many people are restricted in how much their spine can move. It’s very important to encourage the best possible spinal articulation in flowing motion from within by first engaging your deep abdominal muscles and adding on your stabilising muscles.

Unfortunately, there are certain conditions such as osteoporosis, vertebrae fracture or disc herniation where spinal articulation is not recommended (depends on the severity of your condition) due to some possible contraindication. On the other hand, it’s very important to keep moving with emphasis on the correct alignment, body mechanics, and strengthening that are crucial to bone health e.g., spinal extension, especially in the thoracic can be very beneficial. 

Daily practice – three Pilates core principles:

Next week, we’ll introduce another Pilates principle of movement – neck, head and shoulders organisation.  Active Pilates is holding evening and morning classes in Panaceum Rehabilitation Centre. Check our current timetableSend us an email if you have any further questions or if you want to share your success story with us.