What is Pilates?

 

Pilates has become a fitness phenomenon due to its suitability for people of all ages and fitness levels.  It is a gentle and precise form of exercise which improves strength, flexibility and mobility through smooth, controlled, flowing movements. As Pilates works with the breath and engages the mind and works the body, it is a true mind body workout. At the end of a session you will feel relaxed, calm and refreshed.

 

Benefits of Pilates:

  • Improved posture, balance and co-ordination

  • Relaxation

  • Reduced stress

  • Toned body, long, lean muscles

  • Improved mobility

  • Improved flexibility and suppleness

  • Increased energy and sense of well-being

  • Heightened body awareness

  • Reduced risk of injury

  • Improved performance in sports

 

Aims and Objectives of the Class

Combining these precise, controlled movements with breathing techniques and concentration, matwork Pilates strengthens what Joseph Pilates called the ‘powerhouse’ or core, more commonly referred to as the TA (deep abdominal muscle)!  Through strengthening this ‘corset’ muscle the body is supported and the back and pelvis are stabilised, resulting in more strength, flexibility and a balanced, healthy body.

Pilates is not a mindless routine however, in order to recruit the deep muscles we need to perform the exercises, concentration is very important. This is one of the 8 Principles of Pilates that we try to apply to each exercise.

Pilates Principles

 

  • Concentration     

  • Breathing  

  • Centreing

  • Flowing Movements 

  • Co-ordination

  • Relaxation 

  • Stamina    

  • Alignment

Pilates – Where did it all begin?

 

Pilates is a system of controlled exercises based on the work of Joseph Pilates, a World War Two intern who developed exercises to improve the physical fitness of injured soldiers in the Isle of Man, before making a name for himself working with world renowned dancers in New York.  Joe borrowed principles of yoga, callisthenics, gymnastics and dance to create a program that focussed on proper body alignment, body awareness, mobility, posture, co-ordination and breathing. It is a combination of strength and flexibility training that focuses on strengthening the body through smooth, fluid, continuous movements.

 

There is a lot to think about initially but the penny will drop! Remember that Pilates said:

 “In ten sessions you will feel the difference, in twenty you will see the difference and in thirty you will have a whole new body.”

 

* In order to gain the maximum benefits of Pilates aim to practice 2-3 times a week.

 

Have patience, Pilates works!

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