Many people associate Pilates with core work, however it is much more of a whole-body workout. Pilates integrates many whole-body systems including the muscular, nervous and lymphatic systems to achieve better balance and function.
Calm, controlled breathing helps to quieten the nervous system and alleviate muscle tension. In doing so, this aids digestion and improves lymphatic drainage. Controlled breathing draws attention to oneself, quietening the mind and focusing on the activity at hand.
The use of breath to initiate deep core activation and movement further promotes efficient engagement of muscles without tensing or bracing. The continual flow of inhale and exhale through the exercises encourages continuation of smooth, coordinated and controlled movement. Pilates emphasises the importance of the deep core muscles as the initiator and stabiliser for all movement.
Whilst breathing and deep core engagement is a focus in all exercises, each exercise can also target a different area of the body, promoting strength and flexibility. This may involve either upper limbs, lower limbs or a combination of both, depending on the complexity of the exercise.
The advantage of different spring settings on equipment, as well as the addition of small equipment such as therabands, chi balls or fitness circles, allows us to adapt the exercises to place more focus on stability, strength or balance/control challenges. Tailoring the exercises to the individuals’ needs is advantageous for optimal results. They can be designed to address different injuries, goals and lifestyles. Because of this we recommend attending Pilates classes which focus on private Pilates sessions or small group Pilates classes to ensure you are participating in exercises which are best suited to you.