written by Kathy Celardo, Pure Pilates Instructor
When performing exercises lying on your stomach in the prone position it can be difficult to stay out of your lower back. I have heard many clients say they tend to overwork the lower back and feel less glute and hamstring work.
A good way to prevent this is to stabilize and support the lower back first before engaging glutes and hamstrings. Think of stability before mobility. Let’s use the exercise Prone Leg Lift as an example of how to support the lower back by using your abdominals and glutes.
- Lie on your stomach with hands stacked under the forehead.
- Before lifting legs (single or double), press your pubic bone gently into the mat.
- As you press, the pubic bone should feel heavy.
- Next, pull your lower abs away from the mat to support your lower back.
- These two steps should elongate your lower back and engage your glutes.
- Once you have your lower back stabilized, then lift the leg(s) off the mat.
Now the work is coming from your glutes and hamstrings and your lower back is supported and engaged.