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What The Tuck?

At the birth of Barre Fitness, tucking the pelvis under (posterior tilt) was revolutionary. It became a signature part of Barre and it wasn’t used in other formats. Women in the 1960s had fewer options for birth control and postpartum rehab and after babies, oftentimes the pelvis would tip forward, creating an anterior tilt or “swayback”. They also didn’t have the exercise science nor a gym on every corner the way we do now. And importantly, women were not prevalent in the workforce where sitting at a desk all day was necessary. Tucking in Barre class actually successfully brought women back into a neutral spine. 

Since then, with Pilates and posture awareness rising dramatically in popularity as well as us finding ourselves sitting more often than not, the pendulum has swung the other way, where more people have more posterior tilt and therefore more back, knee and hip pain than ever. So why exacerbate this position by using and holding a tuck in barre class? This usually leads to weak low back muscles, tight hip flexors, overworked glutes, and pelvic floor dysfunction.

In Barre class, I am always happy to add posterior tilting for range of motion, however, I strongly advocate AGAINST holding this state. How you exercise is how you use your body in your daily life. Practicing holding your tailbone under is the antithesis of the lengthened and lifted spine that facilitates freedom of movement. Imagine that your pelvis is like an upside down triangle: the hip bones (ASIS) are the top two corners of the triangle and the pubic bone is the bottom point of the triangle. Try to find these three points on the same PLANE. If you are tucked under, the top points are behind the bottom point. If you are hyper-extended, the top two points are in front of the bottom point. It's less about flattening the back, but lengthening the spine to get the triangle in the right place.

So think about that when you come into a plie, when you raise your heels, when you're kicking your leg in battement, etc. Keeping the pelvis relatively still requires strong abdominal and back muscles. The more stable the hips, the stronger the core.

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