Pilates - Principles to strengthen your core

Pilates is a routine workout that consists of low-impact flexibility moves combined with muscular strength and endurance exercises. Many people who have adopted the Pilates routine at different stages of life, experienced immense benefits. Regular workouts tend to improve your range of motion, posture, flexibility and abdominal strength. It also improves blood circulation and reduces joint and back pain. Developed by Joseph Pilates, this exercise routine is in great demand nowadays because of its numerous advantages.

Here a few things about Pilates that you must know :

Who is it for?

It is a very common misconception that Pilates is for just for professional dancers and athletes. Although professional athletes were the first to adopt Pilates in their lifestyle, it is now a pretty common routine among all. Since it is very similar to calisthenics form of routine including exercises like pushups and situps, some people call it the ultimate form of modern calisthenics.

What are the principles of Pilates?

  • Centering : In Pilates, you must consciously try to focus on the center of your body. It is the focus point of Pilates workout regime. All movements in Pilates should begin from the center and flow outward to the limbs.
  • Concentration : Pilates demands extreme level of focus and concentration. This is more important than the exercises themselves. You must be aware of your body at all times while doing such an exercise.
  • Control : The Pilates exercise routine is based on the principle of muscle control. It teaches you to be in control of your body and not being controlled by it.
  • Precision : Completing one exercise with precision is more important in Pilates than performing many rounds of the exercise in a sloppy fashion. Concentrating on the correct body movements in absolutely necessary to achieve the desired results.
  • Flow : Through proper transitions, Pilates aims to create a flow within different movements to build strength and stamina. Pilates is about flowing motion outwards from the core.
  • Breathing : Pilates refers to breathing as 'bodily cleaning through blood circulation'. Full inhalation and complete exhalation are very important here. Above all, Pilates teaches you to breathe correctly.
  • Alignment : From head to toe, the Pilates method stresses on proper body alignment and control over the body. During the exercise, it is very important to be aware of your head, neck and pelvis to ensure proper breathing and training.
  • Integration : With proper breathing, alignment, control and precision, Pilates aims to achieve full body integration and awareness. This is the key element in Pilates method of exercise.