Pelvic Stability and Mobility, Part II

By Denise Vidal

Now that you have mobilized your pelvis, let’s try a stability exercise.

Using the breath that we discussed in blog #4, ‘The Infamous Core’, we are going to stabilize the pelvis and isolate our legs from the hip joint. This movement is not only the fundamental movement for most Pilates exercises, it also the basis of sitting, walking, running, and climbing stairs.

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Inhale and visualize the sphere in your abdomen expanding. As you exhale, see the navel, spine and hip bones narrow around the sphere. Inhale again, and as you exhale engage the sphere while slowly lifting your right heel off the floor. Continue to lift the rest of your foot and thigh, while maintaining the pelvis in neutral. Our goal is to keep equal weight on all of the points of the pelvic clock, while finding smooth movement in the hip socket.

Keep your pelvis stable as you lower your leg. Try the same thing with the left leg. Next, begin to alternate legs as if you were marching, being careful to put one foot down before picking up the other. Continue to coordinate the movement with your breath, inhaling before the movement then exhaling and engaging your abdomen to lift your leg.

Do this 5-10 times and let me know how it goes.

Pelvic Stability versus Pelvic Mobility

By Denise Vidal

Just as your feet can be malleable, and your breath can move through your abdomen as well as it can move through your ribcage, the movement of your pelvis also has many dimensions. Specifically, your pelvis has the ability to be stable as well as mobile.

An exercise originated by Balanced Body Pilates called the Pelvic Clock can bring your awareness to the movement capabilities of the pelvis.

Lie on your back with your knees bent. As you inhale roll your pelvis to arch your back and put weight on your tailbone. Allow your sitz bones to open wide. We’ll call this place 6 o’clock. As you exhale, imagine your sitz bones narrowing toward each other and your tailbone curling up towards the ceiling. Allow your pelvis to tilt to put weight on the top of your sacrum. We’ll call this place 12 o’clock. Roll forward and back, from 6 o’clock to 12 o’clock a few times, arching and curling. As you do this, imagine that your pelvis is hollow and empty. Relax your abdomen and concentrate on the movements of the bony pelvis.

Bring your pelvis back to the center or, as we say in Pilates, neutral.

Next, allow your pelvis to roll to the right. See if you can keep your knees still, and just move the pelvis. We’ll call this side 9 o’clock. Now, roll your pelvis to the left. We’ll call this 3 o’clock.

Finally, try to move the pelvis in a clockwise direction, rolling from 3 to 6, then 9 and 12. See your pelvis hitting each of these points as well as the imaginary numbers in between. Then try moving counter clockwise.

All these movements are very small. I like to imagine a marble resting in the center of my pelvis and seeing the marble move forward and back, right and left, without falling off. Chances are you might have an easier time accessing some number positions over others.

Give it a try, and let me know how it goes. If you would like one-on-one instruction, I am at Beyond Basics every Thursday from 8am-12pm. Come by and see me!