Ancient Wisdom in a Modern Era
The Pilates Method
It's not about intensity or multiple repetitions of a movement, it's more about proper form for safe, effective results.
Every movement in the Pilates method has a purpose. Every instruction is vitally important to the success of the whole. To leave out any detail is to forsake the intrinsic value of the exercise. The focus is on doing one precise and perfect movement, rather than many halfhearted ones. Eventually this precision becomes second nature, and carries over into everyday life as grace and economy of movement.
Pilates mat exercises are supposed to be performed fluidly. There are no static, isolated movements. Concentration and body
The Pilates Method (sometimes simply Pilates) (Pronounced "Puh - LAH - Teez") is a physical fitness system that was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Pilates wrote at least two books about the Pilates method: Return to Life through Contrology and Your Health: A Corrective System of Exercising That Revolutionizes the Entire Field of Physical Education.
Pilates called his method Contrology, which refers to the way the method encourages the use of the mind to control the muscles. The program focuses on the core postural muscles that help keep the body balanced and are essential to providing support for the spine. In particular, Pilates exercises teach awareness of breath and alignment of the spine, and strengthen the deep torso muscles, which are important to help alleviate and prevent back pain.
Joseph Pilates preferred fewer, more precise movements, requiring control and form. He believed that mental and physical health were essential to one another and created what is claimed to be a method of total body conditioning that emphasizes proper alignment, centering, concentration, control, precision, breathing, and flowing movement, "The Pilates Principles".
Ancient Wisdom in a Modern Era
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economy, grace, and balance; using your body to the greatest advantage, making the most of its strengths, counteracting its weaknesses, and correcting its imbalances. The goal is this: to produce an attention-free union of mind and body, the method requires that you constantly pay attention to your body while you are doing the movements. Paying attention is so vital that it is more important than any other single aspect of the movements or the method.
Joseph Pilates believed in circulating the blood so that it could awaken all the cells in the body and carry away the wastes related to fatigue. For the blood to do its work properly, it has to be charged with oxygen and purged of waste gases through proper breathing. Full and thorough inhalation and exhalation are part of every Pilates exercise. Pilates saw forced exhalation as the key to full inhalation. “Squeeze out the lungs as you would wring a wet towel dry,” he is reputed to
Pilates classes help to build strength and flexibility, with an emphasis on lengthening the body and aligning the spine, rather than on building muscle mass. Pilates' focus is on the "powerhouse" region of the body which includes the muscles of the abdominals and the lower back. Because of its focus Pilates has become popular not only in the field of fitness, but also in rehabilitation. It can be used to progress individuals through movements that represent their day-to-day activities. The focus on strengthening the core/powerhouse muscles and improving postural awareness are especially well indicated for the alleviation and prevention of back pain.
Pilates follows principles based on a well-constructed philosophical and theoretical foundation. It is not merely a collection of exercises but a method, developed and refined over more than eighty years of use and observation. While Pilates draws from many diverse exercise styles, there are certain inherent ruling principles that bring all these elements together under the Pilates name. One interpretation of Principles: Centering, Concentration, Control, Precision, Breathing, and Flowing Movement.
Mind over matter
The central element of Pilates is to create a fusion of mind and body, so that without thinking about it you will move with
have said. Breathing, too, should be done with concentration, control, and precision. It should be properly coordinated with movement. Each exercise is accompanied by breathing instructions. Joseph Pilates stated, “Even if you follow no other instructions, learn to breathe correctly”.
Pilates called the very large group of muscles in our center – encompassing our abdomen, lower back, hips, and buttocks – the “powerhouse.” All energy for Pilates exercises begins from the powerhouse and flows outward to the extremities. Physical energy is exerted from the center to coordinate one's movements. Pilates felt that it was important to build a strong powerhouse in order to rely on it in daily living.
Pilates demands intense focus. For instance, the inner thighs and pelvic floor may be accessed when doing a standing exercise that tones the triceps. Beginners learn to pay careful attention to their bodies, building on very small, delicate fundamental movements and controlled breathing. In 2006, at the Parkinson Center of the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon, the concentration factor of the Pilates method was being studied in providing relief from the degenerative symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Joseph Pilates built his method on the idea of muscle control. That meant no sloppy, uncontrolled movements. Every Pilates exercise must be performed with the utmost control, including all body parts, to avoid injury and produce positive results.
awareness replaces the quick, jerky movements of other exercise regimes. Grace of motion is emphasized over speed; ultimately the movements are meant to feel as fluid as a long stride or a waltz. Uniformly developed muscles are then developed to complement good posture, suppleness, and natural grace. However, with the usage of the apparatus, clients will need to take at least some time to adjust their equipment settings and props.
Because of the extensive and expensive education that most Pilates instructors must complete, plus studio rentals and equipment, instruction can be costly. It is possible for the method to be taught in a class setting, but this will not allow an instructor to take the individual students' personalized needs into consideration. Ideally new trainees will be given close, personally tailored supervision until they develop sufficient knowledge to continue their training in a class or group.
In recent years the term "Pilates" worked itself into the mainstream, and following an unsuccessful intellectual property lawsuit, a US federal court ruled the term "Pilates" generic and free for unrestricted use. While this ruling prevented artificial restrictions on the use of the term "Pilates" by legitimate, qualified Pilates trainers, it also permitted a small number of untrained or under-qualified practitioners to capitalize on the name. Consumers now face extensive and conflicting information about what Pilates really is, how it works, and what credentials they should seek in an instructor.
Another less obvious drawback to Pilates is that while it can tone the rectus and transverse abdominis muscles, when performed wrongly or too often, certain exercises can also cause over-development in the external and internal oblique muscles of the abdomen, resulting in a flat stomach but a wider waist. This is because much of Pilates is practiced through extension with the torso moving in a linear, forward fashion.