There are 9 main principles within Pilates: CONCENTRATION • BREATHING • CONTROL • CENTERING • PRECISION • FLOW OF MOVEMENT • BODY AWARENESS • STAMINA • RELAXATION
The benefits are numerous and when performed regularly in a discipline training approach many of the following training progressions can be achieved:
IMPROVED POSTURE Due to an increased focus on technique and the training of postural muscles, the body has no choice but to adapt to positions that it is familiar to. In Freestyle Pilates one of the aims is to promote and lift awareness of ‘good’ posture, to gain a state of skeletal and muscular balance which protects and supports the body during exercise performance and into daily life.
IMPROVED MIND AND BODY CONNECTION One of the results in gaining mastery of the mind is a concentrated control over the body. Freestyle Pilates can improve the mind body relationship retraining correct movement patterns. This can be developed by performing the exercise with precision, control and addressing the balance between work and rest throughout the programme.
IMPROVED BACK CARE AND STRONGER CORE According too many osteopaths, as many as 95% of the population suffer from backache and as much as 13 million working days are lost each year due to back pain. Much of the emphasis in Freestyle Pilates is aimed at strengthening the muscles of the core, those that support the spine in the abdominal area. Greater body awareness coupled with postural control account for easing many back problems.
IMPROVED MUSCULAR STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE Both muscular strength and endurance can be utilised in a Freestyle Pilate’s class. Many of
the integrated exercises are encouraged to be performed slowly and under control so most
individuals will experience some strength as well as endurance gains.
IMPROVED FLEXIBILITY Range of movement can be greatly improved by including developmental stretches and by adding full range flowing movements into the freestyle Pilates programme. Many of the exercises require increased movement range as part of their progressions, thus resulting in increased flexibility as part of the natural evolution of the exercise.
IMPROVED IMMUNE SYSTEM Increased oxygen intake helps the body’s system to function efficiently, resulting in clearer thinking, greater energy levels and muscular health. As a result of exercising the muscles lymph is circulated around the body. Lymph carries white blood cells which fight disease and boosts the body’s defence system.
INCREASED WELL BEING Positive imagery and the use of visualisation cannot only help with the accuracy of exercise performance but can also have an impact in decreasing stress throughout the whole body. By including relaxation participants will further gain stress reducing benefits.
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