Pilates TermsGet ready for Anatomy 101. Pilates exercises inspire a deeper body awareness, and that means getting to know various body parts and positions by name.
Here are a few terms you may or may not be familiar with but well may hear in a Pilates video, group class or personal training session.
Adduction: a muscle contraction that draws inward to the midline of the body.
Bicep: the large upper arm muscle that flexes the forearm.
Cervical: having to do with the neck; the cervical vertebrae are the top seven bones in the spinal column supporting the neck and head.
Coccyx: the tailbone.
Concentric: shortening the muscle.
Disk: a pad of shock-absorbing cartilage between two vertebrae.
Eccentric: lengthening the muscle.
Extension: straightening out the limb with muscles.
Flexion: bending the limb with muscles.
Hyperextension: straightening out the limb beyond its normal range of motion.
Neutral Spine: keeping the natural curve in your spine during exercise rather than flattening it out or pressing it into the floor.
Ligament: a band of fibrous tissue that connects bones or cartilage at a joint or supports an organ.
Lumbar: the five large vertebrae in the lower back.
Pelvis: the lower part of the abdomen located between the hip bones, the basin-shaped structure that supports the spinal column.
Powerhouse: Joseph Pilates' term for the core region of the torso, including the abdominal muscles, pelvic girdle, buttocks and lower back.
Prone: lying on your front, face down.
Quadriceps: the large extensor muscle at the front of the thigh.
Rectus Abdominus: the section of muscles running down the stomach that, when toned, give you those flat washboard abs.
Rotation: twisting around a central axis.
Sacrum: the five vertebrae above the tailbone and at the top of the pelvis, usually fused together into a triangular bone.
Scapulae: shoulder blades.
Spine: the back bone, a series of vertebrae that protects the spinal cord.
Supine: lying on your back, face up.
Tendon: a band of flexible, fibrous tissue connecting a muscle to bone.
Thorasic: the 12 central bones in the spinal column that attach to the rib cage.
Transversus Abdominus: the deepest layer of abdominal muscles that help stabilize the core.
Triceps: the muscle at the back of the upper arm that extends or straightens the elbow.
Vertebrae: the bone segments that form the spinal column; 33 vertebrae fit together to support the back through a full range of motion.
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