Pilates is a highly sophisticated exercise system developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century.
With an emphasis on strength, flexibility and control, pilates has become a very popular means of improving core stability.
It is a very effective way to condition the body while improving function and preventing both injury and pain.
Pilates is grounded in the principles of dance and gymnastic conditioning. It can be modified to suit people from all walks of life, meaning that anyone from seniors to professional athletes can practice pilates and reap the benefits. The main emphasis is on CORE STABILITY, which refers to strength, stability and flexibility in the region bounded by the abdomen, pelvis, low back and diaphragm. Good function and balance in this area is the foundation for excellent posture and movement.
The teaching and practice of pilates is guided by six main principles. These principles are extremely important and take both time and practice to fully appreciate, but the following provides a basic summary.
- The way in which you perform the exercise is more important than the exercise itself, and requires a high degree of focus. The mental discipline required to perform pilates is both challenging and rewarding.
- This refers to muscle control. It is the physical manifestation of concentration or 'mental discipline', and means that every movement is deliberate, without random or haphazard variations.
- The centre is the focal point, or the place to which your body returns. Naturally this requires excellent posture, and an awareness of the muscles that stabilize the body at its core.
- Because it is based in dance, movement must be flowing, graceful and efficient. Emphasis is placed on coordination and a connection to the core. Smooth, efficient movement prevents muscular imbalance and eventual dysfunction.
- It is better to do one movement perfectly than a dozen with poor execution. Eventually, with correct practice, these movements will become second nature. Emphasis is on quality rather than quantity.
- Breathing is an important aspect of pilates, and correct technique is taught in class. Not only is the movement important, but breath must be timed correctly with exercise.
Method and Apparatus
Joseph Pilates originally started with matwork, expanding to the use of apparatus for resistance training. Modern pilates utilizes other objects such as balls, rollers, Swiss (or exercise) balls, and resistance bands, as well as more advanced equipment such as the Reformer. In all scenarios, the principles of pilates remain the same; controlled, concise movement with an emphasis on core strength and stability. Here at Indooroopilly Physiotherapy Centre, we are well equipped with both reformers and trapeze equipment to ensure the best possible outcomes for clients.