How does Pilates Work?
Pilates is a total body system, conditioning both body and mind to maximise the precision of muscle control, strength and flexibility in a balanced sequence. It strives for quality of movement rather than quantity, creating body awareness, stamina and coordination.
Every muscle group in the body is worked, with specific attention given to the muscles responsible for stabilising the joints. This in turn produces the correct body dynamics, along with a healthy, even flow of energy throughout the entire body.
Ordinary exercise routines often involve repetitive movements. This can cause over-activity in some muscle groups and under-activity in others. For example, excessive exercising of the arms and shoulders without exercising the torso will develop a weakness of the stabilising muscles in the back and abdomen. Eventually, the resulting unsupported spine will begin to degenerate. Further, this degeneration can cause an over-compensation in other areas of the body leading to yet more degeneration.
This can often be seen in gyms where men overuse their arms on weight machines yet pay no attention to their legs. Muscle is more dense (heavy) than fat, and these men become “top heavy” and thus put excessive strain on their comparatively weaker hips, knees and ankles.
Pilates can be utilised to rehabilitate the misused or overused body, encouraging a healthy balance in all muscles as they become lengthened, strengthened and flexible.