The Trinity in Pilates refers to the inner thighs, back of the hips and the abdominals and keeping them connected gives us an amazing column of strength in which to move from. Maintaining this connection is not only crucial as our clients progress to more advanced exercises but essential for our postural health.
Increasingly over the years, I have noticed clients turning out at the hip and foot either during exercises or when simply standing. This turn out can have a negative impact on our joints and posture. It can affect the ability of the foot to absorb shock, reduce ankle stability, place unnecessary strain through the knees, reduce the ability of the fabulously strong gluts to stabilise the pelvis and protect the low back, thwart the inner thigh connection and therefore the highly desirable Trinity is compromised or lost!
The reasons for this undesirable turn out are many. Although it could be due to a congenital condition, often it is habitual, a product of our modern lifestyle. In jobs that require prolonged standing such as a hairdresser, we often shift our weight onto one leg, bringing the strain into the IT band and the lateral ligaments of the leg. The type of shoe we wear, and it is not always high heels even running shoes have a heel, can cause tightening of the calf which leads to the turn out. Prolonged sitting causes imbalances and weaknesses around the hip which again lead to overuse of the IT band and lateral musculature to stabilise the pelvis in movement, leading to external rotation. This can be observed especially in Pilates exercises such as Shoulder Bridge or Swan Dive where the hip is extending and we see a drifting or pulling out into turn out.
Although we may cue good alignment through the feet and hips, we often need to help our clients rediscover the Trinity.. The video below shows how to use a yoga block to help your client find and deepen this essential connection.
Thank you so much Keaton for being a wonderful body!!!