There's more to Pilates
Pilates is much more than simply developing 'strong abs' or 'core strength'. Pilates is an exercise system that focuses on stretching and strengthening the whole body to improve balance, muscle-strength, flexibility and posture. It was created by German-born Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s and incorporates elements of yoga, martial arts and Western forms of exercise.
Summed up nicely, the Pilates method is described as,
"The attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind and the ability to perform life's daily activities with zest and ease." - Joseph Pilates – the goal of contrology
Initially adopted by professional dancers as an effective form of recovery after injury, Pilates has steadily grown in popularity around the world. Although fad workouts come and go, Pilates has remained a firm favourite amongst stars such as Madonna, Jennifer Aniston, Pippa Middleton, Hugh Grant.
Did you know there are 9 principles of Pilates?
- Concentration - the art of being able to focus bringing mind and body together
- Breath - controlling the breath as you complete each Pilates exercise is essential
- Centring - in Pilates it is believed that all movement comes from a strong centre or ‘core’ which we can call the ‘power house’. Every exercise in Pilates is controlled by the contraction of the deep abdominal muscles.
- Precision/quality - correct alignment of the body is crucial to ensure each Pilates exercise is performed correctly
- Flowing movement - through controlled and continuous movements, a balanced and functional training programme is achieved
- Awareness - each exercise will present challenges and you will become more aware of your own strengths and weaknesses as you perform them
- Stamina - repeating the movements will improve stamina and increase levels of skill
- Relaxation - the aim is to learn how to release any stress, relax through the body and allow it to move in a natural flowing way with ease and fluidity.