8 Principles of Pilates – enhance your whole body strength and capabilities!

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The rules of Pilates practice allow you to perform the exercises correctly and achieve your dream results faster. Here is a list of the most important elements that should accompany each workout.

Breathing

The combination of proper breathing and movement is the basis of Pilates exercises; it unites the body with the mind and helps achieve better concentration. During a Pilates workout, the breath accompanies every exercise performed and determines how the movement feels in the athlete’s body. Proper breathing delivers oxygen to the cells, increases lung capacity, helps you relax, stabilizes the body and sets the rhythm for the exercises performed, which is why it is so important to master proper breathing technique.

Concentration

Full concentration on the exercises being performed is part of the body&mind philosophy. Within this thought, the body and mind should be united and work together while performing specific movements. Pilates is based not only on physical tasks, but also on the thought process, which can be done effectively with full concentration. Mastering conscious control of the body is only possible with total control of the mind. The attention of the mind should be directed to the precision of the exercises performed, the positioning of the body, monitoring the breath and relaxing the muscles.

Centering

Centering involves controlling tension in the center of the body. In Pilates, each exercise begins from the inside of the body and leads outward, that is, at first the stabilizing muscles are tensed, and then those responsible for initiating movement. This kind of tension is to adapt and teach the body to perform everyday movements, so that the focus is on the deep muscles, which allow the body to maintain stability and correct posture. Pilates exercises engage the deep muscles of the abdomen and back to achieve complete control of the movements performed and linearity of the body.

Control

Coordination is the absolute maintenance of correct body alignment and movement form while performing an exercise. Control is the responsibility of the mind to support muscular endurance. The more difficult the movement being performed, the more control should accompany it.

Precision

It plays a key role in Pilates, because training is not about quantity, but quality of exercises performed. Precision is the effect of systematic repetition of exercises, mastery of technique, and familiarity with the form of movement. By maintaining precision during each workout, the athlete has a chance to develop the correct movement pattern. The factor that influences the level of precision is the time devoted to exercises and regular participation in Pilates classes.

Fluidity of movement

Pilates is based on movement that must not only be precise and fully controlled, but also performed technically correctly, fluid and continuous. Each part of the body activated during exercise affects the others, so it is important that they all work together simultaneously. Coordinated movements will increase the range of motion, reduce tension in muscles and joints, and normalize breathing and heart rate.

Balanced muscle development

Pilates is the art of conscious work on the body, getting to know its weaknesses, disharmony of movement, strengthening muscles and reducing internal tensions. Obtaining equal development of muscle tissue is possible thanks to strengthening weaker parts of the body through exercises, and minimizing loads on trained muscles. The art of Pilates is based on listening to one’s body and adapting exercises to its needs, in order to balance its capabilities, develop fitness, and maintain the physical form achieved.

Routine

The basis of any physical training, including Pilates, is regularity. Routine allows you to develop mechanical reflexes that your body will perform unconsciously. Automaticity in adopting specific body settings, executing movements, and maintaining precision comes with time, so when taking on the challenge of Pilates, it’s a good idea to train regularly.

Featured photo: Freepik

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