It is difficult to tell if the Pelvic Floor muscles are engaging properly because we cannot see if they are becoming shorter or tighter. A lot of times people will overuse their glutes instead of activating their pelvic floor causing an uncomfortable amount of tension in your buttocks.
Pilates is supposed to be an exercise of low impact, engaging the muscles along the spine as well as the pelvic muscles. It is extremely important that the correct technique and posture is being used so not to create issues.
When your ribs and low back are in alignment with your pelvis is when you have a ‘Neutral Spine’. You don’t want to flatten your spine or arch it too much because this can cause stress.
By having the bottom of your ribs and hip bones in alignment, you will be able to reduce to much stress on the joints and muscles in your low back. If you practice rolling your hips backward and forward and then stopping in the middle eventually, your posture will set automatically.
So what does it mean to engage your core? Your core plays a very important role in stabilisation and balance. You want to draw in your belly button inwards towards your spine. By doing this, your low back and hip area around the pelvis will tighten and create more stability before going into an exercise.