So what is the big hype about Pilates? Isn’t Pilates just for dancers? Well the big hype is totally justifiable and no, it is not just for dancers. I’m here to tell you that Pilates is for everyone! We are going to talk about the history of Pilates, principles of pilates, flexibility, alignment and core. If you are unsure about trying this type of workout, keep reading and I am sure you will be buying a Pilates Mat asap!
History of Pilates
“My method develops the body uniformly. Corrects wrong posture, restores physical vitality invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit!”- Joseph Pilates. Joseph Pilates is, you guessed it, the founder of Pilates. He created this method of movement when he was in an internment camp, or as most commonly known, a concentration camp, during WWI. During his time in the camp, he helped his fellow internees with this specific type of physical fitness, which at the time, was called Contrology.
After the war, Pilates fled to the USA by boat, met the love of his life and started a Pilates studio on 8th avenue in New York City. He attracted boxers, ballet dancers, gymnasts and athletes to maintain strength, flexibility and to reverse injuries. Ever since, he has led this legacy throughout the world where people are finding balance and peace within their bodies.
Principles of Pilates
The introduction to Pilates’ principles are based on a complete coordination of the mind, body and spirit together while in physical motion. There are 6 principles to abide by when performing Pilates; breathing, concentration, control, centering, precision and flowing movements. Each one of these principles allows you to get every benefit you can from Pilates. In a later post, I will talk about how to do all of these principles correctly and what benefit it can bring to you!
Doing Pilates on a regular basis will increase your flexibility, and a little flexibility never hurts anyone! Being flexible helps with muscle soreness, muscle tone, injuries, posture, balance, and even strength. With Pilates, you will gain flexibility in a safe way that is progressive for your body, which will be preventing any injuries in the future!
Alignment of the spine and body are the main starting points in Pilates. When you have the perfect “plumb line” throughout all your exercises, you not only maintain your perfect posture but you receive the most benefits from your workout. The plumb line consists of having an imaginary line that goes in order of your ear in line with your shoulders, your ribs at the correct level, hips having a slight curve (lumbar) and finally knees and ankles are in the direction towards your toes. Having this posture allows your core to always be engaged and supporting the spine.
The core is what I like to call your life source of the body. Without the core, we couldn’t do anything, and in Pilates it is all about the core and how to strengthen it. There are five main parts to the core. The rectus abdominis (where we get our six pack), transverse abdominis (super important for the spine) internal and external obliques (stabilisers) and pelvic floor (important for bladder control and great for post natal recovery). Without these muscles, we would fall apart!
I hope when reading this Introduction to Pilates, you will make the smart decision and start today! When you take a Pilates class, you are helping your mind, body and spirit. You will become stronger and more relaxed! If you are still wondering if this is great for your fitness goals, take the challenge and take a photo of yourself 1 month before and after the photo to see the difference! I am sure you will feel amazing as well.