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FINE FORM EDUCATION: A guide to three beginner Pilates terms

Fine Form Physio is a not just a physiotherapy practice but is an excellent place to embrace your strengths, challenge your mind and redefine yourself. Reformer Pilates is designed for everybody, all body types, genders and fitness levels. Our studio’s passion is to inspire you with an experienced team of instructors who will help adjust your imbalances and teach you about the qualities of Pilates, and gain an in depth understanding and how to apply it so you too can experience the amazing benefits. As a Reformer Pilates instructor I believe that treating everyone based on what they need is critical as everyone is not the same body. Everyone learns differently, so we have put together three beginner terms and most frequently ask questions (FAQ’s) to help you along the way.

As Joseph Pilates said-“In ten sessions you’ll feel the difference, in twenty you’ll see the difference and in thirty you’ll have a whole new body”.


Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing allows the belly to rise and fall naturally. However this type of breathing can be difficult if you are stressed as we all have the tendency to engage out accessory muscles that assist us with breathing. This can cause undesirable tension within our neck and shoulders leaving us feeling anxious and uptight. This is why it’s essential to understand the importance of diaphragmatic breathing to ensure you relax your body and calm your mind. Take a moment now to notice where you are breathing from; does your belly rise and fall or is it just your chest that is moving?”


Neural pelvis is when your pelvis is in its most relaxed position. By finding neutral pelvis position, there is a curve at your lower back, as we aim to honour the natural curve in your lower back and find the position where you are most at rest. “We often in class refer to imagery by using a small grape or berry that can be placed under your lower backs natural curve without being squished.” Neural Pelvis is essential for adjusting any injury or imbalance you may experience when lying flat on your back or for when you attend everyday tasks.


Table top is when your legs are at a 90 degree angle, when you are lying prone on your back. Your knees are directly in line with your hip bones, whilst your feet are aligned with your knees and your shins are parallel to the floor. The cue refers to the fact that your shins are like a table top. Table top position looks reality easy however can be tricky to maintain. When engaging the right muscles and the pelvis and spine maintaining neutral position can be extremely effective in engaging your abdominals. “We often use in class imagery to assist you in this position for example imagine a martini glass resting perfectly still on your shins, maintain this position without spilling it.”

If you are new to Reformer Pilates please book yourself into an initial assessment to assess your current functionality and fitness levels before booking yourself in to one of our classes that we have to offer. We are also happy to answer any further questions you may have regarding our classes by either contacting our practice on (02) 8068 6776, booking online at www.ffphysiotherapyryde.com.au or via email admin@fineformphysio.com.au.

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