Can you please explain anatomically or physiologically how "the seat" supports hip flexion? I've heard this a few times in Pilates classes and I'm confused about this cue. The seat is mostly glut max, and it does not flex the hip, it extends it. Therefore if you are doing single leg stretch (where you cue using the seat to support the leg) and engage your glut max it will not support holding the leg up it will will do the opposite, drive the heel into the floor, extending the hip (the leg staying up is controlled by an eccentric contraction of the hip flexors, and in my opinion the glut max should completely relax, taking advantage of reciprocal inhibition and displaying economy of movement). That is what glut major does.
Minumus and medius do have a small hip flexion function, but they are not really the seat, they are on the side of the hip, so if you cue "engage your seat", the average client will not be engaging those, even if they could (which they can't, nor should they try because research has shown that trying to engage individual muscles during exercise is counterproductive) So even though this cue sounds innovative and cutting edge, I'm sorry but I don't think it is correct or useful, but I am definitely open to how it might be, if you could try to explain it a little more. Thank you
Hi Jason, thank you for your interest in the seat and you question. Yes, anatomically you are correct. I understand where you are coming from. But, when it comes to Pilates each exercise is more than one muscle. It is integrative and each exercise needs the whole body to work together to make the movement happen. My theme with the seat could be multiple workshops. I wish I had more time to explain and maybe someday I will. Of course, the hip flexion doesn't come from the seat but the leg reaching out away from the body isn't just being held up by the hip flexor it is possible to have support from below to control where the leg is.
Jason...cont. Having all the muscles "engage not enraged" is useful for Pilates movement. In Single leg stretch and Single straight leg stretch the leg that is distal from the body needs support. The wrap from the outer hip (g med and g min) combined w/support from the front allows the body to control where that leg is in space. Sometimes in Pilates, I believe the visual is helpful for engaging under-used muscles. I hope this is helpful. I am happy to refer you to more instructors who teach the seat in more depth than I can comment here. Thank you again for watching my class xx~LL
I absolutely loved this class Lesley. Your cueing was so precise and not too fast. I was able to stay on top of the cue without feeling I had to "catch up". Thank you for such an informative and fun class.
Thought provoking class, really enjoyed the idea of soft knees and heels pressing to floor to engage the correct "seat " muscles. Very clear instruction with a well thought out flow to the class. Will do again
Hi Leslie, Thank you for getting back to me. I honestly still don't agree with this basically for the same reasons I already stated above, but I do respect your opinion as well. Thanks again for taking the time to respond. Good luck to you. Jason