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Whether you have attended a few barre or Pilates fitness classes or have yet to try them, you have probably heard of "the tuck." Different classes and instructors call it different things, including "dropping your tailbone," "pelvic tilt," "tuck your pelvis under," and "heavy tailbone." These all mean the same thing and, when done right, it has great benefits for your strength and your posture.

The barre tuck is a tiny motion that encourages a neutral spine position. Most of us naturally arch our backs and stick out our booties. When your spine is over-arched, it puts stress on your lower back and does not engage your core or glutes, meaning you aren't getting the most out of your workout. If you over-tuck and push your belly forward, you are also putting pressure on your lower back and creating a slouching position which is bad for your shoulders and neck.

To do the tuck properly, engage your abs as you drop your tailbone down and roll your hips forward. Hips should be rolled just slightly under, with your glutes engaged. Your shoulder blades should be down and back, away from your ears and above your hips. Lift your chest so your overall posture is straight and tall. Although your abs are engaged to hold your hips in place, your belly should not be unnaturally sucked in. If you are unsure about your form, ask your instructor. She will be happy to work with you until your alignment is perfect. 

Your instructor may ask you to do the tuck as an exercise on its own or as the proper posture to adopt during a Pilates move. Use small, precise movements to really tire out those muscles! The more you engage your muscles, the more resistance you are creating, producing that delicious muscular shake that sculpts your body.

This move provides resistance that makes isometric exercises extra effective as well as activating deep ab muscles that otherwise might get left behind. Try to keep doing the tuck during your entire barre class to see major changes in your body in a short amount of time. Doing the barre tuck improves your posture and even makes you look instantly thinner as neither your belly nor your butt are pooched out. Because it strengthens the back and abdominal muscles, it can help protect your spine from injury and keep you from doing further damage to current injuries. The barre tuck not only strengthens muscles, it also increases joint mobility and improves posture.

The tuck is just one element of a complete Pilates and barre workout at PBX Barre Extreme in Raleigh, NC. Learn more about us.