Finding Your ‘Neutral’ Pelvis

My regular and private clients already know that I make exercise videos to help them practice at home. Out of camera-shy embarrassment, I’ve been reluctant to share them with the *wider* internet public. But after much encouragement, I’ve decided to put them online. So watch this space! (And excuse the one-take amateurishness)

This video shows you how to find your ‘neutral’ pelvis (which should be obvious from the title!), in the semi-supine ‘Relaxation Position’ (ie: on your back, with your knees bent, feet on the floor, hip distance apart).

What is ‘neutral’?
Simply, it is the point between two extremes.

Why do we want neutral?
In a neutral spine and pelvis, the surrounding joints and muscles are balanced. A neutral pelvis is also a good stable base for movement.

Being able to find your neutral pelvis and spine is extremely important in Pilates, and I really can’t emphasize this enough. Although ‘neutral spine’ and ‘neutral pelvis’ are linked, they are not exactly the same. ‘Neutral spine’ is the position where your spine retains it’s natural curves (ie: an elongated S-shape – ie: good posture!). Note that there is a natural curve (hollow) in your lower spine. Your ‘neutral pelvis’ is an evenly balanced position of the pelvis in relation to your spine and hips. The angle of the pelvis impacts the curvature of the spine, and when your pelvis is in neutral, your lower spine should retain it’s natural curve.

How to find neutral?
As shown in the video, you can find neutral by tilting the pelvis backward and forward, side to side, and then your neutral will be the point in between.

How do I know if I am in neutral?
Your lower spine will retain it’s natural curve (hollow). You will have less weight dropping through this area. Your lower back will not be flat or imprinted into the ground, and equally you will not be over arching your back. It is the point between the two extremes.

How can I quickly check if I am in neutral?
Place your hands on your pelvis. Form a triangle shape with your hands, with your finger tips connecting on your pubic bone, the heel of your hands on either hip bones, and your thumbs touching in the middle underneath your bellybutton. If you are in neutral, then your hands should be parallel to the ground. Your pubic bone and two hip bones should be on the same plane, which is parallel to the ground.

Have a practice at finding your neutral pelvis! It may not feel natural at first, but eventually with time and practice, it should feel natural and comfortable. In addition to helping find your neutral pelvis, doing pelvis tilts is a really good way of mobilising and releasing tension on your lower back. So tilt away! (with control, as always)

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