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A Glossary of Pilates Terms

"Core strength", "neutral spine", "zip it up" are all phrases we hear a lot in Pilates. Here is a reference for these and other terms you learn about in Pilates classes.

Abdominals
A definition of the term abdominals as used in pilates exercises.

Abductor Muscles
A definition of the term abductor muscles.

Adductor Muscles
A definition of the term adductor muscles.

Classical Pilates
Classical Pilates defined. What does classical Pilates mean?

Contemporary Pilates
What is contemporary Pilates training? Contemporary Pilates defined.

Contrology
Contrology is an important term coined by Joseph Pilates. Find out what it means....

Core Strength
Core strength is one of the foundations of Pilates Exercise. read more...

Counter Stretch
Counter stretch defined.

Diaphragmatic Breathing
When you take a deep breath in to your belly, it's your diaphragm muscle that lets you do it. Learn about diaphragmatic deep breathing.

Eccentric Contraction
An eccentric contraction is of three kinds of muscle contractions. Get eccentric contraction defined.

Embodied
A definition of embodied along with synonyms and examples of use

Extension
Extension defined. read more...

Fitness Ball
Fitness balls are fun and challenging. Find out how they are used in Pilates...

Flexibility
Get the definition of flexibility as it relates to stretching and exercise.

Flexion
Flexion defined. read more...

Functional Fitness
Fitness training that is designed, through exercise, to mimic and improve the kinds of movement activities that people perform in everyday life.

Lateral Breathing
Lateral breathing, a Pilates breathing technique allows you to take a deep breath while keeping the abdominals contracted.

Magic Circle
What is a magic circle? Find out...

Midline
Midline definition: an anatomical term describing an invisible line down the middle of the body.

Modify an Exercise
Modification changes an exercise but keeps its original intent.

Neutral Pelvis
Neutral Pelvis is one of the most important concepts in Pilates. read more...

Neutral Spine
A basic, natural position of the back. Very important in Pilates exercise. read more...

Oppositional Stretch
Oppositional stretch defined.

Pilates
What and/or Who is "Pilates"? Find out...

Pilates Machine
What is a Pilates machine? Get Pilates machine defined as well as other Pilates equipment terms.

Pilates Method Alliance
The Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) is a nonprofit organization that supports professionalism in Pilates.

Pilates Stance
A position of the legs used in many Pilates exercises. Get details...

Powerhouse
We work from our powerhouse in Pilates. What do we mean...?

Reformer - Pilates Equipment
The Pilates reformer is an original and important piece of Pilates equipment.

Scapula - Pilates Definitions
Some people call the scapula the wingbones because of their position on the back and their flat, triangular, wing-like shape.

Scoop the Abs.
Scoop your abs is a phrase we use a lot in Pilates but it can leave a beginner wondering what that could possibly be. Here is a quick definition.

Sit Bones
You sit on them, you feel them on a hard bench, what are they...?

Tabletop Legs
The legs are in tabletop position when the knees are bent so that the thighs are perpendicular to the floor and the shins are parallel to the floor.

Winsor Pilates
Winsor Pilates is a Pilates brand name, sometimes misspelled as Windsor Pilates. Find out more.

Zip it Up - A Pilates Term
Is your instructor encouraging you to zip it up? Find out what it means.

Pilates Terminology Based on Joseph Pilates Original Work
An extensive compilation of Pilates terms, many drawn from the original work of Joseph Pilates. This is from the website of Pilates Instructor, Jillian Hessel, who has made some of her own helpful additions. Recommended

A Glossary of General Exercise Terms
A glossary of words related to exercise from your About.com Exercise Guide.

A Glossary of Anatomy and Physiology
This site offers a list technical terms covering the anatomy and physiology related to Pilates, as well as some of the Pilates Jargon.

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