What is Pilates
Pilates is a method of exercise which emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility, and mind-body awareness in order to support efficient, graceful movement.
Pilates Is One of the Most Popular Exercise Systems in the Country
It seems like everyone is either doing Pilates, or interested in starting a Pilates exercise program. Indeed, one of the best things about the Pilates method is that it works so well for a wide range of people. Athletes and dancers love it, as do seniors, women rebounding from pregnancy, and people who are at various stages of physical rehabilitation.
Pilates practitioners report that they are stronger, longer, leaner, and more able to move with grace and ease.
Where it all began
The Pilates Method of exercise was developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s.
It was originally used as a rehabilitation program for prisoners of war and was later found to be of great benefit to anyone seeking a higher level of fitness.
The work was kept alive over the years by a small group of Joseph Pilates’ devoted students who became the first generation teachers of his method. Over the last ten years, the Pilates method of exercise has gained notoriety largely thanks to professional athletes, movies stars, and television personalities who have touted the profound results that they have seen with regular practice. Today, Pilates is practiced all over the world by thousands of people seeking the myriad benefits of this system of exercise.
Mat Work and Pilates Equipment
How Mat Work and Pilates Equipment are Used
Mat Work and Pilates Equipment are valuable tools for increasing muscle strength, balance, flexibility, and healthy postural alignment.
Regular practice (2-3 times/week) promotes physical harmony and overall health and wellness for people of all ages and physical conditions.
The method focuses on the development of the core postural muscles, which help keep the body balanced and which are essential to supporting the spine. Pilates students learn to be aware of breathing patterns and correct body alignment while engaging the deep muscles of the core.
Pilates exercises are performed on either floor mats or on specialized Pilates equipment developed by Joseph Pilates. The equipment utilizes a graduated system of springs and pulleys which provide the level of resistance needed to build long, lean muscles. The reformer is probably the best-known piece of resistance equipment seen at all Pilates studios. Other traditional equipment such as wunda chairs, cadillacs, ladder barrels and spine correctors are utilized in Balance Point Pilates studio classes. The wide variety of equipment available at our studio ensures that students will enjoy endless variety of exercises to keep them healthy and fit.
The Six Pilates Principles
Centering, Control, Flow, Breath, Precision, and Concentration:
The integration of these six Pilates principles is fundamental to the essence of the Pilates workout. Each movement in every exercise is performed with complete control, precision and concentration to achieve maximum results.
The Pilates method emphasizes the quality of movement over quantity of repetitions. For this reason, there is no need to do more than 5-10 repetitions of each exercise in the repertoire.
In order to execute the movements correctly, however, one must remain focused on firing the muscles of the core. A mental focus on the muscles of the torso (abs, pelvic girdle, lower back & gluteals) enhances the development of a strong center and allows the body to move with efficiency and balance. All Pilates movements emanate from the center of the body and flow outward to the extremities. Specific breathing patterns help to encourage deeper muscle recruitment while aiding in the flow of the movement.
Pilates – Core Strength
Core strength is the foundation of the Pilates method of exercise. The core muscles are the deep, internal muscles of the abdomen, back, and pelvic floor. When the core muscles are engaged properly they work in tandem with the more superficial muscles of the trunk to support the spine and to improve spinal alignment and posture.