Thank you Allie Castello for writing this piece.
Hug the midline is a cue many teachers use and clients hear on a regular basis. But what does it actually mean?
To understand this cue, we first must back up and understand what a cue is and why we use it.
Cues are images or words used in class by the teacher to help the client get a better picture of what is happening in the exercise.
Cues are used to help the client use their mind to connect deeper into the body and how it moves.
Hug the midline is an interesting cue because it can be looked at on the surface and then, we can dissect it deeper.
- Hug, a verb, means “to hold closely, squeeze tight”.
- Midline, a noun, means “a median line or plane of bilateral symmetry, especially that of the body”.
If we follow our cue Hug the Midline on the surface – our muscles will fire and bring an emphasis to the center of the body which gives an instant sense of stability.
In Pilates we search for both stability and mobility. Once stability is gained, our next step is to build controlled mobility and skill.
If we look deeper into Hug the Midline – usually it is a superficial contact which leads and builds into a deeper interaction. If we are able to get those deeper muscles to fire, it allows the other muscles to release and lengthen giving the ability for a two way stretch. One can think of it as hugging into the center to then lengthen out to move. Kind of beautiful to hear it like this.
When every muscle does its job correctly, we create an organization which allows the body to move with ease!
Next time you hear the cue Hug the Midline, see how the words can change your perspective on your moment. It may be one of the missing links you’re looking for to get a deeper connection in your body.