Pilates is an innovative and safe system of mind-body exercise using a floor mat and a variety of equipment. It evolved from the principles of Joseph Pilates and can dramatically transform the way your body looks, feels and performs. Pilates builds strength without excess muscle bulk and is capable of creating a sleek, toned body with slender thighs and a flat abdomen.
Pilates is a safe, sensible exercise system that will help you look and feel at your very best. It teaches body awareness, good posture and easy, graceful movement. Pilates also improves flexibility, agility and economy of motion for people of all ages. It can even help alleviate back pain.
Pilates breathing is done with precision, control and concentration that help to circulate blood, which awakens the cells in the body. For the blood to do its work properly, it has to be charged with oxygen so wastes related to fatigue can be purged from the body. Full and thorough inhalation and exhalation is essential to oxygenating muscles and it forms part of every exercise. Forced exhalation is needed to achieve full inhalation. Practitioners are instructed to engage their deep abdominal and pelvic muscles and breathe deep into the back and sides of their rib cage as they exhale, and then maintain this engagement as they inhale.
The energy of all Pilates exercises is said to begin from the center or core and flow outward to the limbs. By maintaining control of the core muscles, a person creates stability and a strong foundation for the practice of Pilates.
Quality of movement is vitally important in the Pilates workout and is emphasized by repeating these exercises. By concentrating on smooth, controlled movements, the practitioner becomes acutely aware of how their body feels. It’s important in Pilates that the mind is in tune with the body, thus concentration is key to every movement in every exercise.
Pilates is built on muscle control. Uncontrolled, sloppy movements defeat the purpose of the practice. By teaching balance and control of the body, Pilates enables the body and person to work more efficiently.
Pilates focuses on perfect and precise movements. Every movement has a purpose, and to leave out any detail forsakes the intrinsic value of exercise. Precision needs to become second nature as a person progresses in their Pilates training.
Pilates is similar to yoga, but emphasizes your body’s core — the abdomen, oblique, lower- back, inner and outer thigh, butt etc. For this reason, Pilates develops much of what exercisers need — strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, coordination, balance, and good posture — with a much lower chance of injury than with other harsh forms of exercise. The discipline emphasizes correct form instead of going for the burn and with so many exercise variations and progressions, you won’t easily get bored with Pilates.
Unlike conventional exercises programs, Pilates focuses on developing the deep, stabilizing muscles of the body such as the trans-versus abdominus (deepest ab), the spinal erectors, the deep gluteals, among many others. These are postural, stabilizing muscles that enable the movements to do their job. Pilates conditions you from the inside out, by uniformly developing all the key stabilizing muscles of the body. As a result, your posture improves, aches and pains go away, and you develop a graceful ease of movement that others are likely to notice.
Pilates movements require you to engage virtually your whole body. At times, you may try to strengthen one muscle while stretching another. The moves take lots of concentration; you can’t simply go through the motions like you can on gym equipment. For every move you think you’ve mastered, Pilates has another version that’s a little different and a little harder.
- Pilates can really make a difference in your health without taking a toll on your body.
- A refreshing mind-body workout
- Develop a strong core – flat abdominals and a strong back
- Gain long, lean muscles and flexibility
- Create an evenly conditioned body, improve sports performance, and prevent injuries
- Learn how to move efficiently
- Improve flexibility
- Increase muscle strength and tone, particularly of your body abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks(the core muscles of your body)
- Balanced muscular strength on both sides of your body
- Enhanced muscular control of your back and limbs
- Improved stabilization of your spine
- Improved posture
- Rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances
- Improved physical coordination and balance
- Safe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries
- Prevention of musculoskeletal injuries
- Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
- Improves concentration
- Increased body awareness
- Stress management and relaxation