The powerhouse is one of the most important concepts in Pilates training. In recent years, the term core strength, has become more well-known and is used somewhat interchangeably with powerhouse, but they are not exactly the same.
Students are taught to use their “powerhouse” throughout life’s daily activities. According to Joseph Pilates, the powerhouse is the centre of the body and if strengthened, it offers a solid foundation for any movement.
The powerhouse area of your body goes from the bottom of your ribs all the way to your hip line. It includes the abdominal, low back muscles, pelvic floor, muscles around the hips, and the glutes (butt muscles).
The core muscles are part of the powerhouse set, and using your core is part of using your powerhouse. The core muscles are the deep stabilizers like the pelvic floor, the psoas, the multifidus, and the transversus abdominis, among others. But the core muscles are not the big movers like the rectus abdomis or glutes, that we add to the group when we talk about the powerhouse.
The Powerhouse is activated effectively by hollowing of the deep abdominals, by drawing the navel back into the spine in a zipping-up motion, from the pubic bone to the breast bone.
Pilates beginners need to think in terms of using the powerhouse right away. It is the powerhouse that gives us the energy, stability, strength, and control to move into the intermediate and advanced Pilates exercises. Developing the powerhouse muscles in a balanced way will progress you toward true fitness the fastest.