The Real Pilates Standards of Training are distinguished by our focus on 4 key elements. Your weekly assignments are designed to develop your skill in each of these areas as well as your Anatomy, History and more.


Anatomy Course Overview:

Log in to Vimeo by clicking the link below and using the password “rpttanatomy”

And we’re back! We’re all about bones this week. The information from last week should help you organize this week’s info -try to think of the general layout of the skeleton in the reference and relational terms you learned last week. Again, you’ll head to vimeo make your notes, and then head to canvas to answer this week’s question.

For the individual bones, feel free to google if the video is unclear for you. This is a good interactive tutorial, with more information that you need for your testing or the case studies, but always good information to have, particularly if you have a client with specific issues.

Key Concepts:

Girdle - A belt or support

Articulation - An articulation is a joint- two or more structures move against or with each other. “articulation” refers to the meeting or movement of those structures. For instance, the femur articulates with the tibia and the patella in the knee.

Appendicular vs. Axial skeleton - Axial: central bones of the body- head neck and trunk. Appendicular: bones of the limbs

Spine: Bones of the spine are numbered with 1 being the most superior and the number increasing as you move inferiorly.

  • Cervical Vertebrae

Bones of the superior-most aspect of the spine and the neck. There are 7.

  • Thoracic Vertebrae

Bones of middle aspect of the spine, the chest and upper waist. There are 12. These bones articulate with the ribs.

  • Lumbar Vertebrae

Bones of lower aspect of the spine, the lower back. There are 5. These only articulate with each other and L5 articulates with the Sacrum (S1).

  • Sacral Vertebrae

5 fused vertebrae. One structure, but labeled S1-S5 for medical purposes.

  • Coccygeal Vertebrae

What remains of our tails. there are 3-5 of them in adults, deep inside the pelvis

Ribs and Sternum

Sternum is 3 fused bones. Also called the breastbone. Anterior point of connection for the ribs. Ribs do not connect directly to the sternum, but rather to bars of cartilage that connect to the ribs and the sternum.

Ribs are ribs! they are flat bones that protect the heart and lungs. There are 12 sets of ribs.

Bones of the upper limb girdle


- Shoulder blade


- Connection between the upper limb and the axial skeleton

 Bones of the lower limb girdle:


Ilium is one of the 2 halves of the pelvis (illia is plural). The pelvis is the whole structure, sometimes used including the sacrum, sometimes just referring to the illia.

Bones of the lower limb


Bone of the thigh or upper leg


Medial bone of the crus or lower leg.


Lateral bone of the crus or lower leg


Bones of the ankles. There are 7 of these in each ankle


Bones of the toes. (there are 5 of these, one for each toe)

Bones of the upper limb




Bone of the upper arm or Brachium


Lateral bone of the forearm or antebrachium. (IMPORTANT: the radius is the THUMB SIDE bone of the forearm. it is lateral IN ANATOMICAL POSITION, but may not appear lateral when you are looking at a body in real life. Remember, when relational terms are used to describe a static--i.e. non-moving-- body, they are used in terms of anatomical position.)


Medial bone of the forearm or antebrachium (see IMPORTANT from radius).


Bones of the wrist. There are 8 of these in each wrist.


Bones of the hand (palm). there are 5 of these (one for each digit)


Bones of the fingers and toes. There are 14 of these in each hand, and 14 in each foot. In both the thumb and big toe, there are two phalanges. in the other digits and toes, there are 3.

Sesamoid bone

Bone that forms in a tendon and is mostly engulfed in that tendon in adults. the largest is the patella, which is your kneecap and articulates with the femur and the tibia.


The information about long bones is good to know, but you don’t need to memorize it.




  • The Lumbar skeleton has no articulation with the ribs allowing rotation to happen more freely than it does in the Thoracic spine. This puts the Lumbar spine at greater risk for injury. What have you learned about working with delicate backs and rotation? Give 5 examples of exercises that you would be cautious with?

Rotation is one of the last things to be introduced for delicate backs, particularly rotation with “load” on the spine. Exercises to be cautious with (not exhaustive, looking at: twist and reach in the short box series, twist in stomach massage, corkscrew on mat and reformer, Criss-cross, Saw. Looking for exercises with rotation on any apparatus.

  • Within the joints of the body, some girdles are built for mobility and others are for stability. In human development stability must happen before mobility. Give an example of how Pilates works this way as a system. Give an additional example of a Pilates exercise that works this way.

The progression from the basic, beginner into intermediate and advanced systems works stability first, before adding in exercises that require both greater range of motion as well as greater stabilizing strength against that range of motion. Within the short box series, the spine moves in a single plane (round and straight back, side to side) before moving in multiple planes (twist and reach). The hundred is an exercise that asks you stabilize the trunk and legs while vigorously moving the upper limb without disturbing that stability.

  • The word articulation comes from the Latin, “formation of vines”. In Pilates we typically use the word articulate as a verb to define certain actions. How do you think the noun “articulation” relates to the verb articulate.

In anatomy, the noun articulation describes a structure capable of movement. In pilates, we use the verb articulate to describe the movement of those structures.

  • Features of bones are influenced by two things geometry and mechanical pull. What is your reaction to the idea that bones can be re-modeled by muscles? Give an example of how you think this might work in one area of the body.

Alignment is a good example of this: In pilates, we ask the muscles to move such that the bones are in correct alignment, Over time, this can change the resting structure and default movement patterns of our clients. With regards to the bones themselves, Osteoporosis, for example, is a common condition in which the bones become fragile and brittle due to loss of actual bone tissue. Resistance training (such as pilates) has been shown to provide the “load” stimuli that triggers the creation of more bone cells, upping bone density.

  • Bonus Question: The phrase “girdle of strength” is used to describe or define what in the Pilates Method?

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