Why Pilates Works
Like any exercise regiment, Pilates has been know to flatten the stomach, slim the body, and improve posture. But more important than reshaping your body for mere looks, practicing Pilates has also been known to relieve hip, back, shoulder, and neck pain, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, and aide in overcoming depression and addiction.
How It Works
- Pilates is precise movements with low impact, high energy exercise that affect both the body and the mind.
- Achieving a mind body connection is an experience that sets you into the next level of accomplishment.
- As you achieve this connection, the realization of core strength becomes apparent.
- This allows for the release of tension, and the correct muscles begin supporting your body properly.
- Proper support allows for strong fluid movement enabling an active lifestyle, thus further aiding overall health.
Principals of Pilates
- Concentration: Concentration refers to mental focus. If you do not concentrate on what you are doing, how you are doing it, and most importantly how it feels when you are doing it, accurate movement is very difficult. A high level of concentration is one of the defining features of a well taught Pilates session or class. The mind body connection is fostered through concentration.
- Control: It is the neuromuscular system that directs the amount of control you have of your movement. The nervous system is the control center which sends the message to the muscles. In turn the muscles move bones.
- Centering: Centering is synonymous with core stabilization. The musculature spans from rib cage to pelvis. Core stabilization occurs in two ways. There is a local system of muscles close to the spine which provides inter-segmental support. There are four muscles in this group.
- Breathing: Diaphragmatic breathing is the objective when you incorporate breathing. When breathing is efficient there is co-engagement of the diaphragm, the pelvic floor musculature, the multifidus, and the transverses abdominis (as well as the external obliques, serratus anterior and rhomboids).
- Fluid Movement: This refers to movement of the bones of the skeleton. When teaching people to move, they learn to move from their bones not muscles, even though the muscles move the bones.
- Skeletal Alignment: Whatever movement is executed, there must be attention to where the bones are before muscles are used to move them.
- Precision: This refers to economy of movement where muscles are recruited with minimum expenditure of energy.
- Release: Release can be considered flexibility but there is a distinction between stretching muscles and skeletal release of the joints.