What the %&#*# does that mean?

Hey it's Shorty :). I realized there are some terms we use all the time in Pilates that may need some explaining. Here is a list that I will continue to update with anatomical terms!


adduction - moving a body part towards center.  I remember this by thinking "add up to center to build a stronger midline"

abduction - moving away from center. We usually say "A-B-duction because the two words sound very similar. Side leg lifts is a hip abduction exercise that is easy to use as a reminder of what the movement is


anterior - on the FRONT of the body or body part. This word applies to a bunch of different actions but in simple terms - the front

posterior  - on the BACK of the body or body part


sagital plane - this plane divides the body down the midline into two halves - right to left

coronal plane - this plane divides the body in half - front to back (or belly and back :))

transverse plane - this plane cuts horizontally through the body, dividing into superior and inferior


superior - above or top portion

inferior - below or bottom portion 

plantar - bottom of foot - think plantar fasciitis.  OUCH!


proximal - close to center - think center of the breastbone or sacrum

medial - pertaining to the middle, or in towards the middle of the body - as in the side of your knee that is closest to the other knee aka closer to the midline of your body

distal - far from center - think fingertips and toes

lateral - the opposite of medial - as in the outside of your knee or the side farthest away from the midline of your body


flexion - closing a joint. Think hip flexion - folding hip and drawing knee into chest

etension - opening a joint - Think back extension - opening front of body and shortening back of body


internal rotation - rotating towards the midline of the body

external rotation - rotating away from the midline of the body