Blog By: Manasi Joshi
Women doing Pilates exercises on a exercising mat. [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/search/lightbox/9786738][img]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/40117171/group.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/search/lightbox/9786766][img]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/40117171/sport.jpg[/img][/url]
Three women sitting on the exercising mat and doing abdominal exercises. [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/search/lightbox/9786738][img]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/40117171/group.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/search/lightbox/9786766][img]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/40117171/sport.jpg[/img][/url]
Pilates (pronounced as pɪˈlɑːteɪz) was founded by Joseph Pilates. He practised during World War II on the interns. He published two books related to his training method. Your Health: A Corrective System of Exercising That Revolutionizes the Entire Field of Physical Education in 1934, and Return to Life Through Contrology in 1945.
A great way to strengthen your core muscles, it is great for your spine and improves flexibility, balance and posture.
Pilates helps to improve performance for dancers and sports persons. It helps to avoid injuries and helps in recovering too.
Principles of Pilates
Pilates demands intense focus. You have to concentrate on what you’re doing all the time. And you must concentrate on your entire body for smooth movements. This is not easy, but in Pilates the way that exercises are done is more important than the exercises themselves.
The reason you need to concentrate so thoroughly is so you can be in control of every aspect of every moment. All exercises are done with control, the muscles working to lift against gravity and the resistance of the springs and thereby control the movement of the body and the apparatus. The Pilates Method teaches you to be in control of your body and not at its mercy.
For practitioners to control their bodies, they must have a starting place: the center. The center is the focal point of the Pilates method. Many Pilates teachers refer to the group of muscles in the center of the body – encompassing the abdomen, lower and upper back, hips, buttocks, and inner thighs — as the “powerhouse”. All movement in Pilates should begin from the powerhouse and flow outward to the limbs. This is the main focus of Pilates. It does this to strengthen the rest of the body. This can have effects for years to come if you are consistent with the exercise.
Flow or efficiency of movement
Once precision has been achieved, the exercises are intended to flow within and into each other in order to build strength and stamina. In other words, the Pilates technique asserts that physical energy exerted from the center should coordinate movements of the extremities: Pilates is flowing movement outward from a strong core
Precision is essential to correct Pilates: concentrate on the correct movements each time you exercise. The focus is on doing one precise and perfect movement, rather than many halfhearted ones. You will gain more strength from a few energetic, concentrated efforts than from a thousand listless, sluggish movements.
Breathing is important in the Pilates method. In Pilates exercises, the practitioner breathes out with the effort and in on the return. In order to keep the lower abdominals close to the spine; the breathing needs to be directed laterally, into the lower rib cage. Pilates breathing is described as a posterior lateral breathing, meaning that the practitioner is instructed to breathe deep into the back and sides of his or her rib cage. When practitioners exhale, they are instructed to note the engagement of their deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles and maintain this engagement as they inhale. Pilates attempts to properly coordinate this breathing practice with movement, including breathing instructions with every exercise.
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