The Pilates Principles

Pilates method has in itself the principles of stretching, muscle toning , mental focus and physical balance .

Pilates is a sort of bridge between the ancient principles of Eastern disciplines ( balance, center of gravity , concentration , breath control and movements ) and modern principles of muscle training (stretching, posture, work for the kinetic chains ) .

Pilates chose these basic principles :

  • concentration
  • control
  • center of gravity
  • fluidity of movement
  • precision
  • breathing

The Pilates method over the years has evolved very interesting, this evolution brought it closer and closer to modern posture concepts. The basic principles of Pilates have been translated in various biomechanical movements and these are applied in the practice of every exercize.

The key points are: the position, in both static and dynamic , spine , pelvic and scapular girdle and the relationships between them; the importance of breathing, and the rib cage “attitude”.

Proper breathing is essential, and helps to execute movements with maximum power and efficiency.

Principles of breathing : breathing is a vital action, every aspect of our lives depend and is influenced by it. Moreover our breath interacts with the muscular action of the abdominal wall .If these actions are not well integrated may come into conflict and decrease the efficiency of our move in space.

It ' a natural activity everybody do it normally without paying much attention.

Generally, our breathing is shallow and involves only the upper part of the chest , this may lead to tension in the neck and shoulders , or in other cases involves only the abdomen, with consequent and necessary relaxation of the abdominal muscles.

Breathing in Pilates is a key component , it is ideally of two kind: "intermediate" and "lateral" .
Diaphragm has a fundamental role.
The knowledge and control of the dynamics of the diaphragm changes dramatically the effectiveness and efficiency of breathing.

Various exercises teach how to breathe in the right way, distributing the air inhaled into all the territories of the lungs, even during muscular effort, maintaining the efficiency of the breath.

Tissue oxygenation occurs regularly and the movement to do is not hampered by excessive contraction of the accessory inspiratory musculature or the abdominal ones.

It 's easy to feel the awkwardness and the functional rigidity of the whole body resulting from inspiratory apnea during intense exercise.
This type of breathing prevents the functional block of the cervical spine and shoulder girdle and also allows the permanence of a good basal tone and a good contraction of the abdominal muscles .
This, that Pilates called "The Power House " which means the place of the force, reminds us the principles of many Eastern disciplines.
The effectiveness of each movement in based on the stability of the abdomen and pelvic girdle , where it is ideally located our center of gravity.
Consequently prevents an overload of the back musculature, of the column, where it is protected.
For centuries, practicing breathing techniques helped reduce stress, improve your aerobic fitness and get into better harmony with the mind and spirit .

The pelvis in the standing position and during the execution of the exercises, should maintain the physiological position, and the same principle obviously applies also to the spine.
The presence of a curvature in the lumbar spine, " lordosis " is absolutely normal.
The disease is a deviation from this position both in anterior tilt, which increases lordosis, and in retroversion.

The ideal location from posture's point of view is that of "neutral": the word itself makes us instantly understand the lack of predominance of a certain muscle group over the other , the balance between the muscles is the right premise for fluid motion and without unnecessary energy expenditure.
Many exercises tend to train the muscles of the various layers of the abdominal wall , the muscles of the pelvis in balance with the rear and paravertebral .

The result is the increase of elasticity and strength of the entire system , a prevention of postural abnormalities and therefore the symptoms of low back pain and lumbar disk disease .

It ' true that in certain patients or in the early stages of learning the technique can prevail a slight retroversion ( imprint ), but just to make our body "understand" which can be the changes of location of the dock and get used to the feel neutral .

Another key point is to control the movement of the shoulder girdle, its mobilization and stabilization. If this is not done the result more frequent is the overloading of the trapezius , the rhomboid and other cervical muscles .

The blades must be positioned downwards and towards the spine as to form a V , as by a movement of the extra-rotation of the arm .The feeling of this position is to be maintained even during mobilization exercises scapular.

To this we add an extension cranio- sacral spine with realignment while respecting the physiological curves .
The feeling that you learn to perceive during the exercises, through that thread that generates an ideal traction at the apex of the skull and tends to stretch the whole column , is a nice lightness. And this during any movement .

That's why Pilates makes us feel good, it makes us perceive our body in a different way, lighter, and less contract, it protects us and helps to prevent the most common disease of the century: the "back pain".

Pilates should be taught by expert hands, by knowing it and practicing it in detail with all the tools that J. Pilates designed, you can get all the benefits that a good title can promise.