We’re not nagging. Promise!
You’ve likely heard your trainer cue you to “stay in neutral”. Sure, it might sound like an odd and -- if you haven’t been shown how to find neutral correctly -- impossible request, but it’s the single most important cue you’ll be given all class... if you want to transform your body, workout safely and correct your posture.
How to find your correct neutral spine position is something that’s taught in your first few Pilates classes at Fluidform -- if you’re not sure what neutral is always be sure to ask, that’s what your qualified trainer is there for. The challenge that comes with “keeping a neutral spine” is maintaining it throughout each exercise during your class and then being mindful of it in your everyday life outside of Pilates.
But that’s not the only reason why we care so much about you “maintaining a neutral spine”:
• It lets the right muscles do their job.
As you move through each exercise you can be sure that the right muscles are working as opposed to the ones that like to overcompensate for your lazy muscles that haven’t had a chance to shine. When you’re in neutral, the right stabilising muscles have their best opportunity to fire and engage and recruit correctly, making your workout a success.
• It allows your body to stress less.
Whether it’s laying down or standing up, neutral spine helps to position your joints to provide minimum stress on the structure of the body. Holding your body in neutral means all the right muscles are working to ease the load that comes with holding your body upright.
• It can help correct faulty postures.
It’s difficult to find someone pre-Pilates with exceptional posture. Often Pilates is where people go to correct their posture and the results are often mind-blowing -- Pilates really works! The focus that is put on maintaining neutral throughout each exercise, from the warmup to stretches is all for a common goal: to fix any postural faults that may be present. Whether it’s from carrying your toddler on your hip all day, being desk bound for 10 hours a day or spending too long sitting in traffic, your spine becomes worse for it. But because we can’t ignore our children, quit our day jobs or vow to never drive a car again we can rely on our neutral spine to keep our posture and our bodies in a healthy, strong stance, just by -- yep, you guessed it -- maintaining neutral.