Clifton Molina

Books I've Read

Functional Anatomy of the Pilates Core: An Illustrated Guide to a Safe and Effective Core Training Program

  • — by Evan Osar, Marylee Bussard
  • 781583949993
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my reading notes


Introduction to the Pilates Principles

Joseph Pilates

The Lost Wisdom of Kinesthesia - the subtlety, centering, precision, curiosity of innate physical intelligence

the quality of our attention can have transforming effects on all systems of the body: neurological, circulatory, respiratory, visceral, psycho-emotional, energetic, and myofascial

a corrective exercise program at its core, conceived and designed to restore modern (wo)man to a more optimal alignment and more efficient patterns of movement

Six Principles: Centering, Concentration, Control, Precision, Breath, and Flow.

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by developing new neuronal connections. Pilates can also be a vehicle for creating a vibrant mind.

Fascia refers to the connective tissues of the body, including the alternately viscous, tough fibrous, and delicate web-like matrix within which everything inside the body floats.

Exercising the Neuromyofascial System - Fascial Fitness (Robert Schliep, Divo Muller, and Tom Myers)

Centering, whole body movements and balanced muscle development.

The center of gravity of the body lies in front of the sacrum, about three finger-widths below the navel

Concentration, state of mind

by paying attention to our movement, we are enhancing kinesthesia and proprioception, improving function over time and reducing the likelihood of injury.

  • Awaring - We can train our minds to be alert and aware
  • Learning Switch - We can learn to recognize whether the brain is in a learning state, or not
  • Variety - fresh variety
  • Enthusiasm - asks that we summon enthusiasm as a way of communicating to the brain that something we are working on is important
  • Pleasure - moving in ways that feel good and natural, and noticing how you feel, is good for your brain and your fascia.

Breath, gateway to awareness.

Control, the goal of the Pilates system

aka building kinesthesia, kinesthetic intelligence (KI), or “waking up” areas of the body.

Precision, the high standard which is the prerequisite for change

Slow down - Moving fast only grooves in patterns that are already automatic

Flow, learn to bring the right amount of coordinated effort to the exercise

Other Tips: Sustainability, Recovery and Rest, Flexible Goals



The Functional Core: The Role of the Thoracopelvic Canister


thoracopelvic canister (TPC) consists of the thorax (thoracic spine and ribcage), the lumbar spine, and the pelvis.

three key systems: the nervous system, the osseoligamentous system, and the myofascial system.

Nervous System = CNS + PNS

the central nervous system (CNS): brain and spinal cord

the peripheral nervous system (PNS): cranial and spinal nerves


somatic nervous system (SNS) controls the skeletal muscles, fascia, joints, and skin and is the region

autonomic nervous system (ANS) is responsible for our smooth muscle, cardiac muscles, and glands

tho largely autonomous, we can developer some control over ANS. e.g. diaphragmatic breathing and getting into a relaxed mental state, we can consciously lower our heart and respiratory rates

ANS = sympathetic (fight-or-flight) and parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) nervous systems

Western culture is sympathetic-dominant (fast-paced lives, technology-driven overstimulation, lack of adequate rest, stimulant dependency)

The longer we are able to exist in a parasympathetic state, the more our bodies can efficiently carry out the functions required to thrive (digest, repair, detoxify, reduce inflammation, etc.) rather than just survive.


If the deep stabilizers of the spine and pelvis fail to pre-activate and stabilize your joints, the pull of the more superficial rectus abdominis and abdominal obliques, and/or the movement of the extremities, would disrupt the alignment of your trunk, spine, and pelvis, creating a compensated movement pattern and potential injuries.

Activation should not cause excessive tone in the superficial muscles and/or cause a change in the neutral alignment of the TPC.

Analyzing a particular movement pattern where a client struggles or experiences pain allows us to break that movement down into its fundamental components and effectively train improved control.

Pilates exercises such as Saw, Snake-Twist, Single-Arm Push-Ups, and Criss-Cross (Figure 2.25) are examples of Pilates movements that incorporate specific training of the oblique chains.

Right Amount of Compression

1. Feed-forward activation of the deep myofascial system. We want the superficial myofascial system to contract after the deep myofascial system.

2. Focus on precision. If we are not specific, the superficial muscles can easily take over and disrupt the optimal axis of rotation, causing hip tightness, grinding, and/or excessive joint compression

3. Following contraction with relaxation. If the function of the deep myofascial system is not restored, the superficial muscles remain very active and become increasingly resistant to letting go or turning off

The chronic myofascial tightness and joint stiffness we are experiencing is over-activity of the superficial myofascial system and often over-compression, since the myofascial systems are not balanced in their activity.