Pilates is a low-impact, relaxing mat-based exercise programme which will help improve balance, posture, core strength and ultimately help tone your body. Pilates helps to build long, lean muscle and with the correct posture and body alignment, less stress, tension and fatigue builds up in the muscles.
The core principles of Pilates (listed below) help to focus the attention on bringing together the correct engagement of muscles and breathing.
Concentration – focus on each movement flowing into next. Block out all thoughts and bring body and mind together
Breathing – lateral thoracic breathing (LTB) – focus on breathing into the rib area; effective breathing prevents muscles fatiguing too quickly; correct breathing assists with correct performance
Centering – all movements need to be performed from a strong and stable base – using the Transversus Abdominis, Internal Obliques, Multifidus, Diaphragm and Pelvic Floor muscles
Control – ensures correct alignment and stability; each repetition is as important as the first; go down a level to maintain good control
Quality – (precision) – accurate technique enables appropriate muscles to work together
Flow – Pilates exercises should be performed in a slow, controlled, continuous flowing way; this improves in direct proportion to improvement of stablitiy, strength, flexibility, knowledge, understanding, body awareness and breathing
Stamina – practice repertoire regularly to see and feel and improvement. With practice, repetition and frequency, skill level increases and strengthens mind and body
Relaxation – learn to release any stress, by recognizing any tension and trying to release this to produce fluid, flowing movements
Your Core strength comes from controlling the abdominal muscles, the multifidus, the Transversus Abdominis, the pelvic floor and the diaphragm.