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Pilates is a type of rehabilitation, preventive, rehabilitative type of gymnastics. Focused on posture control by adjusting the center of gravity.
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What is pilates?
Pilates is a type of rehabilitation, preventive rehabilitation type of gymnastics, focused on controlling posture by adjusting the center of gravity.
Especially the spine and balance control should benefit from performing pilates regularly. Pilates strictly follows principles founded on a precise philosophical and theoretical basis.
It is therefore a true method which in the last sixty years of practice and observation has been continuously developed and perfected.
The goal of its creator, Joseph Hubertus Pilates, was to make people more aware of themselves, their body and their mind to unite them in a single, dynamic and functional entity.
In a sense, he sought to blend the best aspects of Western physical disciplines with those of Eastern techniques.
The operating mechanism of the pilates method could be summarized as follows: Identification of the "problem" or decompensation, analyzing the center of gravity of the body; Acquisition of the pilates technique, respecting the principles of: concentration, control, fluidity, precision and breathing; Regular and systematic practice of pilates exercises, with regular verification of the center of gravity and posture.
Benefits of pilates The versatility of the technique has allowed its use in the rehabilitation field.
In the method, the position and movement of each part are extremely important and the body moves as an integrated system.
The more correctly the body is used in the course of the exercises, the more correctly it will be used in any other circumstance.
In his book "Return to Life through Contrology", Joseph Pilates presents his method as the "art of motor control", manifesting itself in the form of training and not as a real therapy.
In fact, if practiced continuously and systematically, Pilates improves: Flexibility Strength and resistance to isometric strength Control and balance. Generally speaking, pilates is especially beneficial for sedentary people, but there is no evidence that it can be more effective than "alternative therapies".
Fundamentals of pilates
Today several versions of pilates are taught; most of them are based on up to 9 principles.
The original six principles were: concentration, control, centering, flow, precision and breath; today they have increased. Let's see them in more detail: Breathing: Breathing is essential for the pilates method.
In "Return to Life", an entire specific section is dedicated to breathing, defined as "corporal cleansing of the body with blood circulation".
The author recognized a significant purifying and invigorating importance in increasing the oxygenation of the body.
A complete and correct inhalation and exhalation are therefore essential.
In pilates exercises, the user exhales during the stance and inhales on the return.
The goal is to keep the lower abdominals close to the spine; the breath must therefore be on the lower, lateral and posterior part of the rib cage. On the exhale, greater emphasis is placed on recruiting the abdominals and deep pelvic muscles. The method involves coordination between breathing and movement;
Concentration: Pilates requires special attention, the way the exercises are performed is more important than the exercises themselves Control: "Contrology" means logic of control or muscle control. All exercises are performed by controlling the muscles that work to oppose gravity and against the resistance of the springs Center: to control your body well, you need to establish a starting point: the center. This is the focal point of the pilates method, which is based on the balance of the core. All pilates movements should start from the center Flow: Pilates focuses on an elegant economy of movement, creating a flow through the use of appropriate transitions.
Once accuracy is achieved, the exercises are meant to flow one after another to build strength and endurance.
In other words, the pilates technique argues that the physical energy exerted by the center should then coordinate the movements of the extremities Postural alignment: with a correct posture while practicing pilates exercises increases safety, correcting muscle imbalances and optimizing coordination Accuracy: Accuracy is essential to correct pilates.
Performing a precise and perfect movement, rather than several more approximate executions, is a fundamental requirement. In this sense, pilates reflects the wisdom of true motor culture.
The goal is that this precision is reflected in daily life as a grace and economy of movement; Relaxation: inter and intramuscular concentration and coordination are improved by psycho-physical relaxation; Stamina: With greater precision, the movement becomes more efficient and economical, reducing the stress of execution.