A-Z of Pilates - C for Centring and Core Connection

Centring is one of the principals that is at the very heart of all Pilates exercises.  The concept can be described as bringing the focus to the centre of the body – the area between the lower ribs and hips where there is a wrap around corset of deep stabilising muscle known as the Tranversus Abdominus (often referred to as the TVA). This is the deepest of the abdominal muscles and is essential in developing the all important core strength that will provide us with optimum postural support and body alignment. I refer to Centring as establishing our ‘core connection’ and tend to bring focus to it at the very start of class as well as throughout all the ensuing exercises to ensure that it is maintained and does not become lazy. Our core connection is also directly related to the positioning of the ribcage in neutral alignment as well as lateral thoracic breathing as described in my previous A – Z article, B for Breathing.


How to centre the body and establish your core connection:


  • Imagine that your pelvic floor muscles are like an internal zip. Inhale and as you exhale, think about ‘zipping up’ your pelvic floor muscles towards your naval.


  • At the same time, draw your lower abdominal muscles backwards towards your spine and then imagine ‘scooping’ them upwards behind your naval and underneath your ribs. You are trying to think of flattening the abdomen between the bottom of your ribcage and your hips.


  • Breath in again, and on your exhale, maintain your core connection whilst also lengthening the spine upwards out of your waist, sending energy through the back of the neck, and onward towards the ceiling. 


  • As mentioned above, establishing your core connection action goes hand in hand with the positioning of the ribcage and lateral thoracic breathing. Always focus on creating your core connection before executing any Pilates exercise, so that you have created a powerful and dynamic centre from which you can move safely and effectively. 


This entry was posted on October 25, 2017