The term “Powerhouse” was created by Joseph Pilates who started the Pilates movement over 50 years ago and in today’s world of science is referred to as the lumbo-pelvic hip complex and is part of the stabilization system. Your Powerhouse is the center of the body which, when strengthened, creates the foundation for all movement (think – your core). Most people hear the word “core” and they immediately associate their core only with abdominal muscles but really your core consists of many more muscles
The Powerhouse muscles start at the bottom of your ribs down to the top of the hip and all the way to the bottom of your pelvis. The six main muscles that create the Powerhouse are the transverse abdominis, diaphragm, rotators, multifidus, quadratus lumborum and the pelvic floor. There are a few different ways that we can activate our Powerhouse in preparation for movement. The first thing to think about is to lace the top of your ribs together and draw your navel towards your spine. Taking a deep lateral breathe will activate your diaphragm and activate your abdominals.
Now, give yourself a good lift of your pelvic floor (think of when you are desperate, in need of a restroom and have to hold everything in, yes it’s a bit vivid but the visual works) and viola, your powerhouse is engaged. People who are just starting with Pilates need to learn how to activate the Powerhouse and keep the whole body connected like a tight corset around their trunk. Having everything connected gives us the ability to move with strength, stability and dynamic energy. Only when your Powerhouse if fully developed, can you advance into the harder levels of Pilates. It’s with a strong powerhouse where you can progress to a high and consistent fitness level