Pilates is for everyone – young, old, weak, strong, tall, short, man, woman… it doesn’t matter what your body is built like, or how much you’ve worked out in the past. The founder of Pilates, Joseph Pilates, invented this concept he called “Contrology.” In it, there are 6 basic principles of integrating the mind-body-spirit approach. Following these principles ensures that Pilates is a full-body exercise that incorporates the strength of mind and spirit, infusing the workout with intention and completeness.
Principles of Pilates
Understanding the principles of Pilates starts to explain why Pilates is good for you.
- Control: Intensity matters less than being in control of your movements. Focusing your mind enough to have precise control over your muscles is vital.
- Concentration: In order to maintain control over your muscles, you need to be 100% present, with complete focus on the movement and exercise at hand.
The control and concentration you develop in your Pilates practice is a wonderful tool for stress reduction. Being 100% present in your pilates practice helps to quiet the mind and provide a distraction from negative thoughts, therefore releasing stress while enhancing mindfulness.
- Centering: The core is essential, often referred to as the Pilates Powerhouse. Bringing focus to the center of the body allows all of the body’s muscles to function and develop more efficiently.
Pilates body transformations start in the core as you strengthen it. This core-centric approach has you working the spine through all ranges of motion which improves your posture and overall mobility and flexibility.
- Precision: Proper form means you get the most benefit out of the exercise. Each part of the body has an appropriate placement in relation to other body parts, meaning precise alignment is key to a successful workout.
Having precision in your workouts gives you a more efficient workout and helps to prevent injury.
- Flow: Developing a graceful approach to each movement can improve the workout. Allowing the energy to move through the body in a more even, fluid motion connects each body part.
This helps to promote efficiency of movement in your everyday life as well as your workout.
- Breath: Controlled breathing means more thoroughly activated muscles. Many Pilates exercises also coordinate with the breath, making controlled breathing essential.
Working on breath control contributes to reducing blood pressure and improving respiratory conditions such as asthma. This can also help to reduce stress in the body.
Types of Pilates
Mat Pilates is the original type of Pilates, and can be done anywhere you have enough space for a mat and to move freely. The benefits of mat Pilates are numerous and you will get a fantastic full-body workout using bodyweight exercises, no additional equipment needed. However, it can be quite challenging to move your body in space during these movements, so that is where the Pilates reformer and other equipment for Pilates come in.
In the Pilates studio at CORE, we offer Pilates Equipment small groups that focus on Pilates reformer workouts and also utilize some of Joseph Pilates’ other unique exercise equipment such as the Pilates Chair, the Pilates Tower, and the Trapeze Table (also called the Cadillac) to vary the exercises and provide new challenges for the body.
We are often asked, “Does Pilates help you lose weight?” The breath control developed through Pilates increases the oxygen in the body which allows it to burn fat more efficiently, so essentially it can contribute to fat loss as it also strengthens the body overall. If weight loss is your goal you’ll want to incorporate some type of cardio training. Pilates is an aerobic exercise when utilizing the Jumpboard with the Reformer for cardio Pilates.
This Saturday, May 7th we are celebrating National Pilates Day with an Open House. Join us and try the Pilates class for yourself! We will be offering a variety of FREE Classes throughout the day so you can try some of the different apparatus we have as well as our traditional Reformer groups. Reserve your spot in class now: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/ws?studioid=25458&stype=-106&sTG=40&sView=day&sLoc=0&date=05/07/22
Just want to check us out and wait to take a class? We are also raising money for the American Cancer Society! Come and buy some raffle tickets, we have so many awesome prizes donated from our local small business partners.