In footwork we start with the feet but move our focus to the legs which moves the carriage pushing against and resisting the spring tension.
Calais-Germain’s “No-Risk Pilates”, explains that as instructors, we often see the yo-yoing of the pelvis between imprinting and over-extending or arching your spine when moving the carriage in footwork. This repeated rocking of the pelvis, can cause a strong compression of the intervertebral disks of our lower spine and sacrum at the L5/SI joint.
Footwork strengthens the intrinsic muscles in our ankles and feet as well as the inner /outer thighs, the quads and the glutes as follows:
Turn-out – heels connect – inner thigh line /adductors, Piriformis
Parallel – hamstring/glute line (back of leg in hip extension)
Medial – inner thigh line/adductors, quads + glute med/TFL
Put your best foot forward with footwork!
- Find a neutral spine to support your lumbar spine – with the carriage out and long extended legs you neither flatten or imprint your spine nor do you arc or extend it. In neutral, your ribs and pelvis are aligned and the pelvis sits parallel to the carriage.
- Maintain a neutral spine – your breath and pelvic floor /transversus abdominal contraction will help keep your pelvis in neutral as you move the carriage. You should be able to place a cup of tea on your pubic bone and it not spill as you move the carriage.
- We will help you choose an appropriate weight for your footwork based on your leg and foot /ankle strength, and build from there. There should be enough resistance to feel the weight and engagement of your feet, ankle and leg muscles without compromising your pelvis in a neutral alignment.