Learn about the core values of Pilates and start to understand how it’s beneficial to your body.
History of Pilates
Pilates is a physical fitness program that was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Popular in countries all over the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Argentina, and Australia, Pilates is a tool used to condition the body by helping to improve flexibility, endurance, and muscle strength. It emphasizes spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing, and developing a strong core. The workouts range from beginning to advanced and can be done by any body type.
6 Principles of Pilates
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The 6 principles of Pilates were outlined by Philip Friedman and Gail Eisen in the modern Pilates book entitled, The Pilates Method of Physical and Mental Conditioning. These 6 principles have been widely accepted in the Pilates community.
When you do Pilates, you have to channel all of your focus to the routine at hand. How you do the exercise is even more important than just doing the exercise. If it’s not done right, it will not be effective. That’s why concentration in Pilates is so essential.
Joseph Pilates coined the idea of “Contrology”, and based it all on the idea of having good muscle control. You need to be in control of every movement you makes. The controlling muscles work to lift against gravity and the resistance of the springs. Pilates wants you to be in control of your body, not the other way around.
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Being able to control your body comes from having a strong core or centre. Everything revolves around the centre in Pilates. The “powerhouse” of the body, or the centre, includes the abdomen, lower and upper back, hips, buttocks, and inner thighs. All movement should begin in the powerhouse.
Efficiency of Movement
Having effortless, precise movement is what makes transitioning from exercise to exercise effective for your body. Developing a strong core will help you be more fluid and will help your body flow easily.
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Of course along with good flow, is good precision. Pilates encourages you to do one perfect and precise movement, rather than a bunch of half movements with little effort. The goal of Pilates as a whole is that you will eventually carry that kind of wholehearted precision into every aspect of your life.
Breathing is essential in Pilates. Joseph Pilates believed that proper amounts of oxygen flow throughout the body helped to clean your system out by getting good oxygenated blood to every part of the body. That’s why full inhalation and complete exhalation are part of Pilates. Pilates said, “Above all, learn to breathe correctly.”