What is Pilates?
Named after its founder, Joseph Pilates, Pilates exercises are a unique combination of exercises that you perform in order. Each exercise flowing into the next and constantly reinforcing and relying on the strength of the “powerhouse”- a term that refers to your abdominal, low back, buttocks and inner thighs.
Pilates is done on a mat or on the Pilates machine called the Reformer.
How Pilates Works
If you have become used to your regular exercise routine and are looking for a new way to challenge yourself this may be a good exercise program for you. Pilates not only engages the body but also the mind. The unique feature of Pilates is that it requires you to focus your mind on the deep muscles in your core so you strengthen and lengthen at the same time. Other exercises tend to focus on superficial muscles with a the goal of making them more bulky. Pilates works because it uses the mind and the body to help you reach your goals.
The Eight Principles of Pilates
Relaxation, Concentration, Control, Centering, Fluidity, Precision, Breathing, and Endurance.
Benefits of Pilates
- Improved Flexibility
- Greater strength and muscle tone
- More efficient respiratory system
- More efficient circulatory system
- Lowered stress levels
- A flatter stomach and trimmer waist
- Better posture
- Less incidence of low back pain
- Stronger pelvic floor muscles
- Greater joint mobility
- Toned buttocks, thighs, arms, and shoulders.
Why Should you do Pilates?
Life wreaks havoc on our bodies. People grow more and more crooked and imbalanced in the course of daily living. Our habits and routines cause us to to consistently overuse specific muscles. These movements cause changes leaving us out of balance. Pilates is a wonderful antidote to this, providing workouts that will strengthen and stretch your body. Pilates will enhance and compliment all your other exercise activities and help you to get more out of all your workouts. You will look better, perform better, and most importantly FEEL better !
Is Pilates for you?
Donna recommends that you do your research. Make sure that you thoroughly understand and agree with the Pilates philosophy before signing up for a class. Many people think that Pilates is a quick fix to their figure flaws, pain issues or weight gain. Pilates is a slow learning process and you may not “get it” the first several classes. Remember you are re-training your body to move.
Also make sure that your schedule allows you to come to class regularly. Like any new exercise practice, frequency is crucial to learning. Practicing at home is a must! It takes a driven and passionate person to learn a new movement philosophy. Be able to stabilize yourself both physically and mentally. Clear your mind of all extra burdens before entering your class. It will make your training and workout much more successful and rewarding. If you can be patient, dedicated and open minded you will see the results you want !
What is a Pilates class like?
There will be 8-14 people in your class so you can receive personal attention and fine tune your movements. You will begin learning very small movements which are the foundation of the larger movements. Modifications WILL be given for any injury, and pain problems. Learning these small movements will re-train your body to move using the correct postural and stabilizing muscles. So even though you may think these are baby steps –they are critical to be successful with more difficult moves. Pilates is a process !
Each class will build on the last so attendance is important to success. Once you master these moves you will progress to larger moves that are more challenging and flow from one to the next.
Practice is important if you are looking to change your body. Practice a few moves a day for about 10-15 minutes and this will hasten the learning process and retrain those nervous pathways to fire like you want.
FUN EXTRAS – once you start to learn the moves we will add small equipment. You will be using Pilates circles, foam rollers, bands, mini balls, straps, weighted balls, gliding discs and stability ball (must bring your own) This is a fun way to enhance or sometimes assist your movements.
Classes will be 60 minutes long. The last 5-10 minutes is set aside for relaxation. Your mind will learn to relax. Being able to calm your mind is crucial in being able to calm your body and any pain or dysfunction you may have.