Create A New Relationship With Your Body
WHAT IS PILATES?
Pilates is a complete workout for both the body and mind. It is an exercise system that works on stabilising the muscles to ensure optimal posture. The core is the key focus, as well as lengthening and strengthening the muscles throughout the body. It is performed with or without the use of equipment and is suitable for all ages/abilities. What is wonderful about Pilates is that anyone, at any age can get started. Pilates employs a rounded technique for both men and women.
THE PILATES METHOD GENERALLY FOCUSES ON FIVE MAIN POINTS:
Breath is essential to the Pilates method. Proper breathing oxygenates your blood, increases you circulation and flexibility, deepens the work of your abdominals, and brings a sense of ease to your movement. As a general rule, we inhale to prepare for a movement and we exhale to execute it. Many people tend to hold their breath while exercising and often use a shallow breath. Always breathe deeply, into the sides of the ribs; inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. This in turn would awaken the cells in the body and help eliminate fatigue by removing waste.
In Pilates, all movements originate from the center of the body, which is located just bellow the navel (inside). Anatomically, our center connects several large muscle groups and refers to the musculature located deep within the abdominal area. From our center we support our spine and major organs, strengthen the back and improve alignment and posture. With a properly developed center we are less vulnerable to fatigue and lower-back pain. Visualize your center as a sphere. As you contract the muscles in this area, imagine the sphere shrinking in size. During Pilates exercises you must try to maintain this contraction without holding your breath.
Part of the Pilates method is to allow individuals to relax and aid concentration towards the precision of movement and breathing during the exercises. It is important for those performing Pilates to be able to concentrate on the subtle movements, correct alignment and posture.
Joseph Pilates built his method on the idea of muscle control. All movements, he insisted, must be controlled. To achieve the highest result, the exercises are to be performed with purpose and discipline, and all body parts must be attuned to the movement. Proper form is more important than intensity or number of repetitions.
Because every movement in the Pilates method has a purpose, it is important to pay attention to every detail of the exercise. Every instruction is vitally important to the success of the whole. Precision in movement is the ultimate goal. This concept is meant to carry over into every day life, where moving with grace and balance becomes much more natural.
HOW MANY SESSIONS PER WEEK DO YOU RECOMMEND TO GET OPTIMUM RESULTS?
Two sessions a week is key to seeing results. If you can manage to commit to two sessions a week over a three-month period, you will not believe the change – the change to your shape and overall tone will have everyone asking what you are doing. You will look and feel better than you ever have.
WHAT IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE PILATES EXERCISE?
Pilates is about a continuous flow of exercises that target the entire body, so that at the end of a session everything has been worked with precision. Depending on what you need, the most effective exercise could be a stretch, a roll down or a squat. It's important to know that we are all different and need different progressions and regressions/adaptations for each exercise.
DO YOU NEED TO COMBINE CARDIO WITH PILATES FOR A COMPLETE WORKOUT?
If your objective is to lose more than five kilos, then yes, try to include a cardio workout within the week. We offer Barre Fitness; a fusion of Pilates and ballet, at The Barn academy. Our clients can add one or two sessions of this to their programme per week.