By June Scharff
I know you’ve heard your teacher tell you to scoop your abs,
make your abs like a hollow bowl, or belly to your spine. You
are thinking, “I AM scooping my abs—this is as far as they go.”
Did you know you have four sets of abdominal muscles, which lie in three layers? Wouldn’t it be awesome to use all of them when performing not only Pilates tasks, but everyday tasks? The question is, “How do we get the most intrinsic abdominal muscles to engage?” This may sound counterintuitive, but you must relax and soften your abdominals first. Going back to the Haaaa breath that you learned about yesterday, you will be able to do this. So the next time your teacher tells you to scoop your abs or bring your belly to your spine, totally relax your belly and your mind. As you exhale, and exhale more, and exhale more, continue to soften and relax your abs as you scoop deeper than you ever imagined you could. As you commence your next movement, maintain the scooped belly that you have just achieved. In the effort to sustain the scoop you will feel all layers of your abdominals working for you.
You will probably have to try this a few times with a good deal of concentration, but eventually you will feel the power!