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Penelope's Pilates 101: Neutral or Imprint?

OnPointe Blog

We want you to understand your body from the inside out. That's why we regularly provide you with articles on anatomy, injury-prevention, and all things Pilates. It's one way we help you Build Yourself. OnPointe. 

Penelope's Pilates 101: Neutral or Imprint?

Ali Weeks

Ever wonder what your Pilates instructor means when she tells you to imprint your pelvis? Wonder no more! OnPointe’s Mascot, Penelope, is here to fill you in.

A neutral pelvis maintains the integrity of the natural curves of the spine. If you’re lying down on your back, like my mama is in the picture above, there should be a slight curve or lift under your lower back. Your tail — I mean tailbone — is dropping heavy into the floor, and your chest, neck, and back are relaxed. Careful not to force the space under your low back by arching! Instead, think of the front of your hip bones tipping forward gently and your pelvic floor pulling upward.

When you imprint or tuck your pelvis, you’re pulling your abdominals in and getting rid of that space under your back. Mom and her Pilates friends often cue to pull your navel in towards your spine, meaning pull the front of your belly in towards your center. This activates your deepest abdominal muscles, which are the ones that help when we’re playing tug-of-war. Or, for you humans, when you’re walking around upright all day.

If you have any questions, all of my human friends at OnPointe love to talk about this stuff. If you need me, I’ll be glaring at my mom for making me wear a princess costume all day yesterday. Doesn’t she know I’m a tomboy!?

Penelope will check in about once a month to make sure everyone can understand the language of Pilates. If you want to see her more, stop in the studio to say hi!

Author: Ali Weeks