WHAT IS PILATES
Pilates (pih-lah-teez) An innovative mind-body exercise system developed by Joseph Pilates. Pilates operates with spring driven apparatus as well as a series of floor exercises that increase strength, balance, flexibility, awareness, posture, stamina, concentration and coordination. Pilates is a wonderful foundation for any recreational interest you may have. Pilates can be a transformative experience, reflecting itself positively in other endeavors. The principles of Pilates exercise may be applied to walking, sitting, driving, weight lifting, running, cycling, golfing, dancing, tennis, hiking, and many other activities.
In traditional workouts, small muscle groups become weak and large muscle groups become stronger. The result is muscular imbalance - a primary cause of injury and back pain. Pilates conditions the whole body, without any muscle group becoming over trained or under trained. The entire body is evenly balanced and conditioned, helping daily activities and sports become easier with less chance of injury. Pilates improves body awareness, flexibility, posture and practical movement.
LEAN MUSCLES AND FLEXIBILITY
Traditional weight lifting workouts tend to build short, bulky muscles - the type most prone to injury. Pilates elongates and strengthens muscles, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility.
A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured. Pilates transforms the way your body looks, feels and performs. It builds strength without bulk, creating a sleek, toned physique with slender thighs and flat abdominals. Professional dancers have known the benefits of Pilates for decades. Top athletes use it for power, flexibility, and injury prevention. Hollywood celebrities and supermodels use it to maintain beautiful figures.
A STRONG "CORE"
Following the theories of Joseph Pilates, Pilates exercises develop a strong "core" or center of the body. The core consists of the deep abdominal muscles (transverse abdominis), along with the muscles closest to the spine (erector spinae). Control of the core is accomplished by incorporating the torso, pelvis and shoulder girdle.
A MIND-BODY WORKOUT
Pilates reconnects your mind and body. By emphasizing correct spinal and pelvic alignment, along with proper breathing techniques and smooth, flowing movement, you become spatially aware of your body, and how to properly control its movements. Quality of an exercise is valued over quantity of repetitions. Proper breathing techniques are crucial, which help carry out movements with maximum control and effectiveness. As a side benefit, proper breath patters may reduce stress.