Updated: Feb 9, 2018
What a heck is Pilates ?
Pilates is a form of overall strength and conditioning used in the development of strong core muscles which also focuses on breathing, toning muscles, balance, alignment ( posture) and ranges of motion ( flexibility).
In other words, during Pilates, you strengthen and stretch muscles, lengthening muscles that are short, and strengthening muscles that need to be strengthened.
The exercises help with coordination incorporating lots of muscles in one exercise. It enhances functional movement due to the coordinated exercises and concentration on the core muscles.
Overall, Pilates focuses on the deeper muscle groups, or ‘local’ stabilisers -(the muscles responsible for stabilising the body during the movement ).
One of the most famous one, the TA or Transversus Abdominal, is a deeper core muscle that runs transversally located between the belly button and pubic bone going around until the lower back . TA is the key for flat abdominals.
In general the “ local stabiliser” muscles job are to control joint movement and sustain the stability of the joints that can often be damaged through repetitive and high demand training.
Pilates equals deep strength, not superficial . Being more effective and assisting with injury prevention.
Pilates develops awareness of the body, through controlled and smooth movement.
It also focuses on good postural alignment which will help an individual perform a movement efficiently, reducing the amount of unnecessary strain on the muscles and joints. After a Pilates class you feel aligned and taller .
Finally, the emphasis on breathing helps with focus, relaxation and precise movements . During the practice you need to think about what you are doing physically and mentally. It is a mind body system.
In the end of the day what I really love is that you can bring all the principles of Pilates in inspirational tips for life not only during your Pilates practice.