Before we start talking about the rib to hip connection, which I often que in Pilates classes, let’s first talk about the muscle which connects your ribs and hips. Your Rectus Abdominus, or ‘six pack’ muscle / abs as it is sometimes known! This long muscle flexes the spine forwards, to each side, compresses the abdominal cavity and aides in breathing.
The rectus abdominis muscle is a paired muscle that runs vertically, originating on the pubic crest and pubis symphysis, it insets on the cartilage of ribs 5 to 7 and xyphoid process of the sternum. The linea alba is a band of connective tissue that divides the two halves of the muscle vertically. The Linea alba often separates in women during pregnancy known as Diastasis Recti.
Why is your rib to hip connection important?
In Pilates our first priority is good alignment, by engaging your rib to hip connection you stop any over arching of the lower back and bring your pelvis and spine into a neutral alignment, which is the position we perform most Pilates moves in.
When it comes to outside of Pilates when doing ‘real life’ activities like lifting, standing on a tube as it pulls away from the station, running 5k being able to understand and hold yourself in neutral alignment will allow your muscles and joints to work more effectively.
Watch this little video to find out how to engage your rib to hip connection.