Everyday activities may strengthen some muscle groups and leave others underdeveloped. The Pilates Method promotes physical harmony and balance for people of all ages and physical conditions while providing a refreshing and energizing workout. Because conditioning sessions are done one-to-one with a teacher or in closely supervised small groups, the lessons are tailored to your specific goals. Not surprisingly some of the first people to use the pilates method were dancers such as Martha Graham and George Balanchine. For the general public and athletes alike, The Pilates Method can be your primary mode of Body Conditioning and injury prevention. Recently discovered by Physical Therapists, Chiropractors and Orthopedists. The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning program is designed to speed recovery of injuries.
Pilates breathing techniques are key to improving your performance on the track and off-road. Pilates full exhalations promote better oxygenation, which increases the flow of blood to your entire system. This invigorates the muscles and the joints used in physical activities. I don’t know about you, but I’m totally sold on this one as a runner and tennis player—and I’ve experienced it firsthand again and again.
Unlike some forms of exercise, Pilates does not over-develop some parts of the body and neglect others. While Pilates training focuses on core strength, it trains the body as an integrated whole. Pilates workouts promote strength and balanced muscle development as well as flexibility and increased range of motion for the joints.
Attention to core support and full-body fitness -- including the breath and the mind -- provide a level of integrative fitness that is hard to find elsewhere. It is also the reason that Pilates is so popular in rehab scenarios, as well as with athletes who find that Pilates is a great foundation for any kind of movement they do.
Long, lean muscles are the name of the game here. In Pilates, we are not looking to build muscles for show. We are building toned
muscles that work perfectly within the context of the body as a whole, and the functional fitness needs of a person as they move through life.
One of the ways that Pilates creates long, strong muscles is by taking advantage of a type of muscle contraction called an eccentric contraction.
In Pilates, we work toward a safe increase in length and stretch of the muscles and range of motion within the joints. You won't find quite as much "pretzel logic" in Pilates as you might in yoga, but a body that can stretch and bend to meet the flow of life is a very realistic goal.
The core muscles of the body are the deep muscles of the back, abdomen, and pelvic floor. These are the muscles we rely on to support a strong, supple back, good posture, and efficient movement patterns. When the core is strong, the frame of the body is supported. This means the neck and shoulders can relax, and the rest of the muscles and joints are freed to do their jobs -- and not more. A nice side benefit is that the core training promotes the flat abs that we all covet.
Good posture is a reflection good alignment supported by a strong core. It is a position from which one can move freely. Starting with Pilates movementfundamentals and moving through mat and equipment exercises, Pilates trains the body to express itself with strength and harmony. You can see this in the beautiful posture of those who practice Pilates.
It might seem like a paradox, but the more you exercise, the more energy you have and the more you feel like doing (to a point, of course). Pilates gets the breath and circulation moving, stimulates the spine and muscles, and floods the body with the good feelings one gets from exercising the whole body.
If you practice Pilates regularly, it will change your body. Known for creating long, strong muscles and a leaner look; Pilates improves muscle tone, balances musculature, supports beautiful posture, and teaches you to move with ease and grace. All of these things will make you look and feel very fit.
If you want to lose weight, the formula for weight loss remains the same: Burn more calories than you take in. As a full-body fitness method, Pilates help will help you do that. Combined with healthy food choices, Pilates becomes a prime weight loss and body toning tool.
Joseph Pilates was adamant that Pilates, or contrology as he called it, was about "the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit." This is one of the secrets of Pilates exercise: we practice each movement with total attention. When we exercise in this way, the body and mind unite to bring forth the most benefit possible from each exercise. The Pilates principles -- centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow -- are key concepts that we use to integrate body and mind. ~About.com
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