Pilates is based on six principles – Breath, concentration, control, centering, precision and flow.
Through Pilates you will improve your flexibility, strength and body awareness. Pilates is a whole-body training plan with special focus on the core muscles and spinal alignment.
Through improved core and spinal control, many people find they have reduced incidences of accident and injury including chronic complaints such as back pain. Additionally, it was noted very early in the development of Pilates, that participants had reduced recovery times from injury – this was one of the many reasons it became a favourite of the dances at the New York ballet school.
Pilates was originally created in the 1920s by Joseph Hubertus Pilates. Pilates had suffered from asthma and rickets throughout childhood; this led him to dedicate his life to improving his health and wellbeing. He trained in a range of physical fitness forms including gymnastics, boxing, bodybuilding and yoga.
Modern Pilates offers more compromise and development opportunities for the individual. This enables people who are de-conditioned, as well as pro-athletes, to enjoy Pilates and feel the benefits.
Many abdominal exercises, such as crunches and planks, along with back exercise such as back extensions, which you will have seen in other classes, are similar to the movement you will do in a Pilates class. The difference between Pilates and your average exercise class is how we perform the movements. In Pilates, we aim to work to our own ability performing the hardest level of an exercise we can with perfect technique. It is not unusual in a mixed class to see people performing the same exercise at different levels enabling everyone to get the right workout for them.
Your Pilates practice should always be based on the original six principles – Breath, concentration, control, centering, precision and flow.