Pilates: More Than a Stretch Class
What is Pilates? A common misconception is that Pilates is all about stretching. Although we do work for long, lean muscles, Pilates classes were developed to give a total body strength workout through the use of body weight and props. Pilates has six main principles: Centering/Stabilization, Control, Concentration, Flow of Movement, Breath, and Precision.
Joseph Pilates, the creator of the program, believed in mastery of the mind for complete control of the body. We concentrate on using the mind to focus on strength from the midline/center of the body out.
At CBRC, we follow Joseph Pilates’s philosophy that “Breath is life.” Many people are shallow breathers, meaning they do not inhale the oxygen needed for the body to run optimally. There is a strong emphasis on breathing cues during all exercises to bring awareness to deep breathing and to prevent participants from holding their breath. The goal of practicing appropriate breath is to continue this practice of deep breathing throughout the rest of the day no matter what you are doing.
We focus on the Pilates “box”, which works all muscles from the shoulder to the hip including the arms and legs. As we perform exercises standing, sitting, and laying down, the goal is to have all muscles within the “box” engaged. For example, when performing an arm exercise, we engage the legs, abdominals, and spinal muscles at the same time. This precision of movement will create bodies that strengthen and change from the inside out.
Pilates concentrates on correct posture. Many people collapse into their spine, resulting in a multitude of problems. Joseph Pilates believed practicing all exercises with correct posture will lead participants to practice correct posture in all other daily activities, thus alleviating the problems that result from poor posture.
The result of using all six principles of Pilates include increased stamina, efficiency of movement, better coordination, increased strength, improved posture, and more mental/physical stability, to name a few. Pilates classes are a great addition to any workout plan, as developing more stability from the inside out will make other workouts more efficient, leading to additional increased strength in the body. And, isn’t that why we are all here, to develop stronger, fitter, more efficient bodies? Come try a Pilates mat class today.