Effective Pilates workouts require the client to work with focus and intent. By concentrating on individual muscle groups in an integrated way, the workouts are balanced; connecting both body and mind. The approach helps to target specific areas of weakness or tightness aiding the re-programming of habitual or negative movement patterns.
Joseph Pilates originally called his method Contrology and built his practice on the idea of muscle control. All exercises must be performed with the utmost command as each movement has a function. Controlling even the smallest movements ensures Pilates workouts are efficient yet manageable.
Pilates focuses on retraining and realigning the abdominal muscles to create what Joseph Pilates called “The Girdle of Strength”. By focusing on core control and stabilization, the spine is more supported, posture is better and the joints are able to work more efficiently. Centering also encourages the release of unnecessary tension. It grounds the body and helps with the day to day stresses of modern life.
The majority of the population do not exercise their full lung capacity – up to 6000 milliliters of oxygen per breath.
The Pilates breath encourages increased lung capacity, aids circulation and energises the body and mind. It can help to release tension physically and mentally. Muscles used in the Pilates breathing help to connect and stabilise the core, pelvic floor and spine and can also aid co-ordination.
The precision in a Pilates programme ensures that the quality and efficiency of each movement executed is at its maximum. Precision helps to improve faulty movement patterns and create better postural alignment, encouraging a workout that targets all areas of the body.
There are no static, isolated movements in Pilates. The method is based on the primal movements of children and animals where there is natural grace and fluidity to motion. The method encourages dynamic movement with rhythm and flow leading to a greater range of motion executed with improved ease.
By isolating individual muscle groups Pilates can help to address musculature imbalance and re-educate the way in which the body moves. Isolating these areas helps strengthen weaker muscles and lengthen tighter ones, moving towards a better physiology, where the core muscles support a body that is strong, balanced and mobile.
Exercising without stress and tension is important for positive and lasting results. The Pilates Method helps to release tension and undue stress of the body and mind. By relaxing the muscles, tension is released and muscle fibres lengthen. This mental and physical release of tension allows the body to open up and respond better to instruction. By reducing stress and approaching exercise calmly, sensory awareness is heightened and the process becomes clearer and more effective.