Have you ever been doing an exercise in Pilates class and heard a word or phrase you don’t recognize? If so, don’t fret – a lot of us have been there too! Here’s a quick glossary of need-to-know terms that are commonly heard in the world of Pilates. Some of these may sound familiar, but reading an exact definition or description can help cement your understanding and take your execution to the next level.


Articulation –¬†Peeling the spine segmentally down to the mat, as in the rollup

Jump Board – used in place of the foot bar on the Reformer. It allows for continuous jumping exercises that adds a cardiovascular component to workouts.

Lengthening – think of ‘growing tall’. Imagine you are being pulled through the crown of the head like a puppet on a string and reach out and extend the body through the spine.

Powerhouse – the band of muscle about 4 cm below the navel that wraps around the torso. THe powerhouse region includes the inner and outer thighs, bottom and hips.

Pilates Stance – heels together, toes splayed open to create a small ‘v’, wrapping the thighs around the legs and squeezing the back of the inner thighs together.

Navel to Spine – the feeling of pulling the navel deep down internally and anchoring the back down to the mat, as if there is a great weight pressing you down.

Scoop – the feeling of ‘scooping’ or drawing the navel in and up internally

The Box – two imaginary lines, one from shoulder to shoulder and the other from hip to hip


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