Pilates (pronounced puh-LAH-teez) is a physical fitness method that seeks to develop a strong balanced body by concentrating on developing your core muscles. Pilates emphasizes the mind-body connection and makes you intimately aware of the right away to move by practicing fluid, controlled motions. Pilates also focuses on good posture, side/back breathing, muscle strengthening and toning, and proper body alignment. Each exercise’s quality of motion is more important than its quantity.
When I instruct Pilates, I watch closely for how you’re doing each exercise. I want to make sure that you’re making each motion in the correct form. Since you will exercise slowly and deliberately, I will be able to help you remember how to make these motions for yourself. You will soon find that you’re more aware of how you carry your body and you’ll make these controlled movements by second nature. You’ll begin to notice that you’re able to move a lot more freely and you’ll feel more vibrant.
Pilates exercises usually begin with warmups on mats. We then move on to specialized equipment such as the Reformer, Cadillac, Wunda Chair, and variously sized barrels. Some Pilates equipment, like the Reformer, uses springs for resistance training. Additionally, Pilates uses exercise balls, foam rollers, hand weights, and resistance bands.
Six Principles of Pilates
- Control (bodily awareness)
- Center (focus on core muscles)
- Flow/efficiency (smooth transitions between movements)
- Precision (exercising in the full and correct form)
- Breathing (circulation, energy and stress relief)