Archive for December, 2009

21 December

The Pilates T-Spot

       In the Pilates world there are a few spots on the body that we tend to cue a lot and hence have slight abbreviations for them.  One of those body parts in the mid thoracic vertebrae.  You may remember it from and earlier blog on neutral spine.  This mid thoracic area is sometimes referred to as the T-spot, or thoracic spot. 

        It is located just above the xiphoid process or about at level eight of the thoracic vertebrae.  Some Pilates instructors refer to it as having a bullseye on your body.  This is the approximate area of the apex of your thoracic curve.  The thoracic curve is a primary or kyphotic curve.  Basically, this spot should be the furthest posterior or back than all the other thoracic vertebrae.  You can test this by lying down on the floor  on your back and seeing if this part of your spine touches the floor.  If it doesn’t, you may have posturally diminished your thoracic curve or maybe your upper transverse abdominals are weak.

     If the upper transversus abdominals are weak, this area will tend to protrude forward allowing the lower ribs to spread outward as well as forward.  My instructor used to tell us when she saw our ribs protruding forward was that it looked as if we had four breasts.  It made us laugh and we realized it wasn’t a very attractive look.  What it really meant though was that we were not able to move and keep a neutral spine.  Hmmmmmm.

Below are some exercises for working on your T-spot

1.  Modified Abdominal Sensation – If your Transverse Abdominals are weak it is always a great idea to go back to the Abdominal Sensation exercise described in the Trasverses Abdominal section.  Lying on your back with your knees bent and in line with your hips.  Place a hand on you low ribs, or at the T-spot.  Inhale to prepare, and as you exhale, feel the ribs come together and rotate toward your body.  Inhale again, allow your ribs to move up and out, but try not to let them completely release and allow the mid back to leave the floor.  Exhale, focus on drawing the T-spot inward and down to the floor.T Spot exercise 1










2.  Modified Curl Up – Again a similar exercise as the curl up in the Transverses Abdominal section.  Same position on the floor with the knees bent and in line with the hips.  Exhale and curl upward.  Notice the ribs coming together and down.  Inhale, and keep the ribs together and down as you lower the upper body to the floor.  Basically, try not to allow the lower ribs to release from each other and protrude forward and up to the ceiling.T Spot exercise 2










3.  T-Spot Exercise – Same position as the last two exercises.  Arms long, in line with the shoulder girdle and reaching up to the ceiling.  Inhale and allow the arms to move back toward the floor without releasing the T-Spot from the floor.  Exhale, connect the T-Spot to the floor and it will actually help your arms to come back to the beginning position.  Hint: If your arms get past your ears your T-Spot is probably off the floor.T Spot exercise 3_1








T Spot exercise 3_2