Using the correct muscles during a Pilates move can be challenging. Learning to relax some parts of the body whilst engaging others is hard I'm not going to lie. With practice, it does get easier tho and understanding the body, the move and how it should feel allows you achieve more from your practice.
During class this month I want us to ask questions, that does not mean we have a full class of everyone going "I can't feel it" before it becomes a class of just everyone talking and nobody doing anything I want you to really focus on the following.
- Is my start position correct?
Have I got myself in the correct setup, am I in neutral, are my feet hip distance apart etc.
- Have I switched on my core?
Remember pubic bone to navel, navel to spine.
- Am I breathing correctly, or in some cases am I actually breathing?
Inhale through the nose, filling the ribs. Exhale through the mouth as if you are blowing up a balloon. Nice strong breaths, engaging that core at the same time.
- Am I using the muscles to perform the move that I been told to use, and relaxing everything else?
A lot of us struggle with Back Extension, learning to engage the core and use your lower back to lift and lower the body off the floor whilst relaxing the legs and bum can be challenging.
If you run through these thoughts every time it will help you gain an understanding of the body and make you think and be more aware of what you are doing. Pilates is not just a group of people lying on their mats breathing it is hard!!!! The more you do Pilates and the better you get the harder it becomes, as you are able to perform each more correctly and gain all the benefits from each more too. The likely hood is at the beginning you may think this is easy as sometimes you are just going through the motions and not using the correct muscles. For example, Tabletop position at the beginning most people feel it in their legs or back as they are not using their core to hold them in position, but once you master this move you can pretty much feel this in the core straight away.
That being said, I don't want you to feel that you can't ask questions during class and make sure it is during class as there is no point at the end saying when I did Toe Taps it was hurting my back. Yes, I am walking around checking but sometimes I can't see so if you feel embarrassed to say Rachel it's hurting my back just put your hand up and I will come over.
Also be patient, it takes time and effort to build up strength. Sometimes it's just fatigue kicking in and you need to rest. You are much better doing 2 correct then 10 incorrect. Rest then rejoin the move.
GET YOUR TECHNIQUE RIGHT FIRST!!!!
I hope this helps.