WHAT IS PILATES :
Pilates is an exercise method, designed to elongate, strengthen and restore the body to balance. It is this approach that sets Pilates apart from many other forms of exercise.
Osteopaths, physiotherapists and general practitioners recommend Pilates as one of the safest forms of exercise today.
Pilates can be beneficial for just about everyone, regardless of age and fitness level.
As over 10 million people worldwide recognise and benefit from the wonders of Pilates, so can you!
It seems that since Pilates joined the fitness craze, we’ve all got caught up on feeling the burn and pushing through the pain. After all, no pain no gain – right?
Well, there’s two problems with that. Not only might this push-through mentality make you work harder, but it might also make you gain less from all that effort you are putting into your Pilates workout.
MORE GAIN, LESS PAIN IN 6 WORDS
Six Pilates Principles:
Control, Centre, Concentration, Precision, Flow, Breath
Joseph Pilates discovery was years before his time. His vision can be summarized in six words: the Six Pilates Principles. If applied to your Pilates practice, they will guide you toward results and actual enjoyment of the exercises.– You can enjoy Pilates!
CONTROL – Keep your mind active and in control at all times. Staying in control of how your body chooses to perform a certain movement, and being able to continuously adjust it as you move, will not only help keep you safe from strain and injuries but will also keep you on track toward the goals of each exercise and the intention you’ve set for the workout.
CENTERING – Initiate the movement from your center, your core. Pilates integrates the body by focusing on activating and connecting the strongest parts of the body first – YOUR CORE, or what we know in Pilates as your “POWERHOUSE”. For example, Pilates does not address arm weakness with the thought “isolate the bisceps and strengthen them with curls”. Pilates approaches arm weakness and all other body imbalances with the conviction that you must first strengthen your powerhouse. From here you work your body with integrated movement, connecting all the weaker body parts to your strong core. The whole body as a result becomes stronger.
CONCENTRATION –You must be present and focused on what your body is doing. Pilates demands intense focus: “You have to concentrate on what you’re doing all the time, and you must concentrate on your entire body for smooth movements.” This is not easy but the way that exercises are done is more important than the exercises themselves the center or Powerhouse.
PRECISION – Be aware of how you execute each exercise and where you are moving from. Pay attention to your form. Often times that voice in the back of your head telling you to stop is an indication that something is wrong or doesn’t feel right.
When that happens, check your alignment and modify the exercise as needed so that you can effectively maintain your form throughout all of the repetitions. If needed, pause, reset and restart. Proper form will ease the load on your joints and guarantee that the right muscles are working.
BREATH – In order to keep the lower abdominals close to the spine Pilates breathing is described as Lateral Diaphragmatic Breathing. Coordinate each portion of the exercise with an inhale, breathing laterally into the ribs and a complete exhale, ridding the body of stale air & toxins. Key to this is proper full inhalation and complete exhalation. “Pilates saw forced exhalation as the key to full inhalation.” He advised people to squeeze out the lungs, as they would wring a wet towel dry.
FLOW – Flow ties it all together. Although there is control and precision, movement is meant to be free – fluid, graceful and effortless.
By using these principles, Pilates becomes – relaxation for the mind & fitness for the body.