What Pilates can do for you
- Improve movement in your joints, back, shoulders, hips, and knees
- Improve your flexibility
- Improve your posture
- Improve your stability and balance
- Improve your athletic performance – golf, soccer, running, cycling, climbing, kayaking
- Decrease or eliminate back pain
- Improve your body awareness and the mind-body connection
- Tone your body without creating “bulky muscles” or compromising your joints and spine
How Pilates is different
Pilates is different from conventional forms of resistance training and conditioning. There are 6 defining principles of Pilates:
Alignment – Optimal alignment is achieved with proper positioning of the head, shoulders, ribcage, pelvis, legs, and feet. This alignment is maintained while performing the exercises.
Breath – Proper and effective breathing not only oxygenates the muscles, it also assists in activating the core muscles and reduces tension in the upper neck and shoulders.
Centering – Pilates exercises should be initiated from a stable center or torso, helping to create flowing, efficient movements.
Concentration – Pilates builds the mind-body connection by consciously using the mind to control the movements of the body.
Control and Precision – Every movement counts and has an intention. This eliminates the need for high repetitions and multiple sets.
Flow – Motion should be smooth and continuous to build stamina and endurance.
Why Pilates works
- The attention placed on proper alignment restores muscular balance.
- Proper diaphragmatic breathing carries oxygen to the muscles and initiates the contractions of the deep stabilizing muscles during exercise.
- The focus and concentration required keeps the mind sharp.
- Completing each movement with proper posture, form, and positioning eliminates the risk of injury. Control, precision, and quality of movement are more important than quantity.
- Developing the deep stabilizing muscles produces a body that is strong and stable from the inside out.
- With proper instruction, all exercises can be modified. Pilates can be challenging to the elite athlete yet safe and effective for an older adult.