Pilates works the body from the inside out, beginning with deep structural muscles of the diaphragm, pelvis, lower back and buttocks, and them working up and out to the muscles of the chest, shoulders, upper back and extremities. All movements are focused on the center also called the Powerhouse or girdle of strength.
This technique is a complete fitness method and when performed regularly positively changes the body. It combines awareness and articulation of the spine, proper breathing and strength and flexibility training. Currently the Pilates Method is used internationally by individuals at all levels of fitness as well as by golfers, skaters, tennis players, dance companies, sports teams, physical therapists and fitness enthusiasts. Pilates teaches body connection, as well as a deeper sense of self.
Injuries often occur where the body compensates for developmental imbalances or trauma. Pilates is a wonderful tool for addressing these problems. With a better understanding of the injury or misalignment the client can heal faster and is less prone to injure himself again.
Pilates is accessible to anyone, young or old, athletic, sedentary or in physical therapy, pregnant women, etc.
The Eight Principles of the Method
4. Control (including strength)
6. Flowing movement
lest you do improperly and thus lose all the vital benefits of their value."
"Contrology is designed to give you suppleness, natural grace and skill
that will be unmistakably reflected in all you do."
"Each muscle may cooperate and loyally aid the uniform development of all our muscles."
"Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate
successful accomplishment of any worthy endeavor."
"Contrology develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores
physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit."
"If your spine is stiff and inflexible at thirty, you are old. If your spine is flexible at sixty, you are young."
The central axis of your skeleton is the spine. Think of your spine as a chain of joints that floats between two skeletal anchors, the pelvis and the skull. The spine is slightly curved to help absorb shock and improve mobility. When you are standing or sitting gravitational forces work to bring the two end points of your pine closing together, which if not resisted thru proper alignment and muscular support, can increase your spine 's curvature and compress the spaces between the vertebrae. Through Pilates you will learn to articulate your spine and keep it flexible and strong.
The pelvis is the largest bone in your body, and has the largest and stronges muscles attached to it. Your ability to isolate and control your pelvis is key to the alignment of your torso and stabilize your spine. Your spine is connected to the pelvis and supported by the surrounding musculature. Many chronic back problems originate from misalignment of the pelvis, which adversely affects the spine. Since Pilates is a study of the body as well as a physical regimen it helps to know the names and functions of the muscles involved with the pelvis, which include the abdominals, hip flexors, and extensors and lower back muscles. Your ability to engage this muscles to control the movement of your pelvis is key to establish stability in your body. However a more intuitive understanding of how to effectively use the core muscles around your pelvis will be gained simply by regularly performing the Pilates exercises.
The shoulders rest lightly on top of the rib cage, with the clavicles stretching across the top of the chest and the scapula hanging from the back. They can move independently or together and give mobility to the arms. This also means that the shoulder joint can easily be destabilize during movement increasing the risk the of injury. In order to stabilize the shoulders the muscles that connect the scapula to the ribs must be engaged, the muscles of the front and back of the upper torso that connects the arms to the torso must be strengthened, and the muscles that lift up the shoulders from the neck deemphasized. Pilates will teach you to control the range of motion and the quality of movement of the arms using your upper core muscles. This reduce unnecessary tension on the shoulders while adding control and stability to your upper body.