What is Pilates?
Pilates "develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind and lifts the spirit"
Created by Joseph Pilates, Pilates is a low impact total body workout suitable for all ages and abilities. Pilates is not only practised by numerous professional dancers and athletes in their training programmes, but it is also hugely beneficial for those recovering from injury or operations. It is a series of precise, controlled exercises designed to strengthen, rebalance and condition the body by working against gravity (and springs when using Pilates equipment). By improving overall mobility, core strength and amending postural misalignment, Pilates not only helps improve body shape and day to day movement but can also help alleviate aches and pains.
The exercises of the Pilates Method are based around 8 principles:
- Concentration: Mind and body are synchronised as each move requires thought.
- Breathing: Full inhalation and exhalation is required for during move to train deep abdominal muscles and maximise oxygen intake.
- Centring: Sometimes referred to as the "power house" or "core", all exercises require activation and training of the deepest core muscles of the body
- Control: Absolute control of movement is required to achieve desired results
- Precision: Precise execution of each exercise is required to effectively perform each move
- Flow: Exercises become one continuous movement, they flow from one to the next at a constant, measured pace
- Alignment: Participants are taught to adopt ideal alignment of their spine and body and how to isolate muscle groups to rebalance strengths and weaknesses
- Routine: Frequency and repetition leads to success and an increased endurance, stamina and challenge requirement