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The Neutral Pelvis

In Pilates, the pelvis in a neutral position is a fundamental concept that plays a crucial role in achieving proper alignment and maximising the effectiveness of exercises.

The pelvis is the foundation of the spine, and maintaining it in a neutral position is essential for optimal posture, stability, and muscle engagement.

A neutral pelvis means that the pelvis is in a balanced and aligned state, where the hip bones (iliac crests) and pubic bone are level and parallel to the floor. This position allows for the natural curves of the spine to be maintained, specifically the slight lordotic curve in the lumbar (lower) spine and the kyphotic curve in the thoracic (middle) spine.

Here's why a neutral pelvis is important in Pilates:

1. Spinal Alignment: A neutral pelvis supports the natural curves of the spine, reducing the risk of strain or injury during Pilates exercises. It helps in maintaining the spine's healthy S-curve.

2. Core Engagement: In neutral, the deep core muscles, including the transverse abdominis and pelvic floor muscles, can engage effectively. This provides stability to the pelvis and lumbar spine, making movements more controlled and efficient.

3. Balanced Muscle Recruitment: When the pelvis is in a neutral position, muscles on both the front and back of the body are engaged evenly, promoting balanced muscle development.

4. Efficient Breathing: Proper pelvis alignment allows for optimal diaphragmatic breathing, which is essential for supplying oxygen to working muscles and maintaining endurance during Pilates routines.

5. Joint Health: A neutral pelvis minimises stress on the hip and sacroiliac joints, reducing the risk of discomfort or injury.

Achieving a neutral pelvis often involves awareness and practice. To help find your neutral pelvis lie on your backs with knees bent, feet hip-width apart. By gently tilting the pelvis forward and backward and then finding the midpoint, you can locate your neutral position. Pilates exercises are then performed with this pelvic alignment in mind to maximise the benefits.

Overall, understanding and maintaining a neutral pelvis in Pilates is crucial for safe and effective practice, helping you build strength, flexibility, and body awareness while minimising the risk of strain or injury.

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