At Pilates Integration Mind. Body. Spirit. we will educate you on how to identify and achieve a neutral rib cage while at rest, and how to recruit your abdominal muscles to assist in maintaining the proper alignment of the ribs throughout the different pilates exercises.
When the rib cage is in a neutral position the body can move in a more efficient way free of pain. The rib cage position affects the alignment of the thoracic (upper) spine.
The rib cage is directly connected to the spine and the abdominal muscles. As the spine moves it is important to allow the rib cage to gently follow. When the spine:
- Extends (moves slightly up behind the hips in an arced way) the ribs should gently open up
- Flexes (moves down slightly forward of the hips in a curved way) the ribs should gently close in and down
Throughout all of this movement it is important for the abdominal muscles to maintain connection; if it is lost then the spine no longer has support. Along with the proper use of the 3 Dimensional breathing patterns, and the proper abdominal recruitment, you will learn how to stabilize the rib cage on the spine.