What is Pilates?
Pilates is an exercise technique that requires balance in body, mind and spirit according to Joseph Pilates, who created the technique back in the early 1900's.
Pilates uses slow, controlled and precise movements to strengthen the deep stabilising muscles found in the neck, shoulder, spine and the pelvis. This is important because these deep muscles stabilise and support your spine. When they switch off, pain in the lower back or around the pelvis is often the result. And whilst it's famous for toning the abdominal muscles and strengthening the core, it's most contributing factor is it's ability to strengthen your body to prevent injury.
What to expect when doing pilates?
Pilates is low impact and conditions the entire body and thanks to its functional nature, it is effective for people of all ages and fitness levels. There is a type of Pilates to support you at all stages of life, whether you are an athlete, need to rehabilitate or you simply want to keep mobile and improve your wellbeing.
Key principles of proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and concentration on smooth, flowing movement, Pilates teaches you to become highly in tune with your body and in control of its movements. Quality of movement is valued over quantity of repetitions as is proper breathing which helps you move with maximum power and efficiency.
Does Pilates increase my flexibility?
Pilates requires motion in several planes, moving the spine from flexion to extension, internal rotation to external rotation and side bending, allowing an increased range of motion throughout the body. Utilising movement on all planes of motion increases and improves flexibility, which in turn helps injury prevention.
What benefits do I get from pilates on a normal working day?
The sedentary nature of working from a desk can lead to hunched shoulders and poor posture which, over time, creates muscular imbalances. Pilates helps to counteract the effects of our bad postural habits by creating better balance and muscle symmetry. By isolating specific muscle groups and focusing on the weak links, Pilates can help the body to recover lost strength in weaker muscles.
Once our core is conditioned to be stronger, this will give us the ability to correct our posture and stabilise movement in a more aligned and pain free way.
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