Traditionally, the Powerhouse has been described as a 4 inch band that wraps around from the ribs to the hips, supported by the inner thighs and seat muscles. We can think of it as the core but more! For a Pilates student, learning about the Powerhouse never ends. The Powerhouse muscles include not only the abdominals, but the spinal erectors and stabilizers, pelvic floor, diaphragm with other respiratory muscles, as well as the adductors and gluteals. These muscles work to maintain posture, move and control the pelvis and the spine. The role of the Powerhouse is to initiate and control movement, articulate and decompress the spine, move the spine in all directions, and promote proper breathing.
As a new student you are reminded every exercise by your instructor to scoop, pull your abs in and up, deepen your abdominals, tighten your seat, pull your inner thighs together- and so many other cues to help you work from the center out. As you advance in your practice the cues become more specific and detailed to both your body and the exercise being performed, but the focus on powerhouse never changes.
In life we need a powerhouse to hold us physically, emotionally and mentally when our world turns unexpectedly. Developing a strong Pilates powerhouse can help you not just move better but feel better, more confident, more able to cope with the unexpected. Pilates helps you to discover your personal power- your powerhouse!