BARRE TALK

TO “TUCK” OR NOT TO “TUCK”

I get asked about the “Pelvic Tuck” more than any other postural element in the Barre Motion technique. The Tuck serves as the basis for proper set-up for so many of the movements that are performed at Barre Motion. Furthermore, the success of every client is dependent upon proper spinal alignment and the Pelvic Tuck is a key component of achieving alignment.

When I designed the Barre Motion method, I placed priority on The Tuck by beginning every class with a warm-up that has a tuck/un-tuck sequence as a significant component. I use this warm-up as an opportunity to explain why The Tuck matters and why clients should expect to develop an awareness of the position of their pelvis throughout class. I explain that, when done properly, The Tuck lengthens your spine and engages your abdominal, gluteal, and core musculature. I also mention that when I began doing barre fitness years ago, I had no idea what the instructors were talking about when they asked me to “tuck your seat” periodically in class. I sort of pieced together the meaning, researched it on my own, and practiced it until I could do it to my own satisfaction.

At Barre Motion, you can expect us to educate everyone at the beginning of each class, and throughout class, about The Tuck. Furthermore, we are committed to helping our clients achieve a proper tuck.

There are actually three positions you need to be aware of when considering The Tuck: neutral, anterior tilt and posterior tilt. Movement through the three is activated with a combination of the abdominal, core, and gluteal muscles.

  • Neutral is achieved when your pelvis is in a balanced position and your pubic bone aligns directly under the hip bones. It is important to remember that when your spine is in a neutral position, your abdominal muscles are still engaged.
  • Anterior tilt is what we call “un-tucked”, that is, the lower back is slightly concave, the hip bones are in front of the pubic bone, and your tailbone is reaching away from your body. An excessive anterior tilt can lead to lower back soreness.
  • Posterior tilt (“tucked”) is when your pubic bone is tilted in front of your hip bones and your tailbone feels like it has been tucked under slightly. When moving into a tucked position, the abdominal muscles are activated and pulled in and up. An excessive posterior tilt can involve over-clenched gluteals and may lead to tight hip flexors.

While we encourage Barre Motion clients to explore the full range of pelvic motion during warm-up, we emphasize that proper alignment is often achieved with small adjustments to position. In class this translates to instructors gently reminding clients to watch themselves in the mirrors until they learn what “tucked” and “un-tucked” feel like without having to look. We are constantly vigilant for proper positioning and will work with you to make sure you achieve it each and every time. Within a short amount of time, The Tuck will become second nature.

Happy tucking!

Julie
Miami Beach
June 23, 2014