THE PILATES METHOD
“The idea is simple, but profound: Pilates is an exercise method that conditions from the inside out — that’s what makes it so different from other exercise methods, and so effective.
We start by strengthening the muscles of what you will hear called “the core,” “the center,” or “the powerhouse.” These are stabilizing muscles that enable us to hold the trunk in an optimal position while the movement muscles do their job.
With all of the talk of “core” muscles, Pilates is sometimes misconstrued as just another way to flatten your belly and get your midriff in shape before bikini season. While it might do that, Pilates is full-body work. All of the muscles of the body are developed. More importantly, they are developed evenly, meaning that one muscle group is not overdeveloped to the detriment of the opposing muscle group (for example, the quadriceps and the hamstrings). This even development promotes symmetry and balance and places less stress on the joints.
FOR EXAMPLE… “WORKING FROM THE CORE”
To illustrate how important working from the inside out is, when a deep stabilizing muscle is weak, another more superficial muscle not as well suited for the task has to fill in. For example, with our sedentary lifestyles, the deep gluteal muscles, part of the stabilizing team, become weak and can’t do their job. The hamstrings, which are movement muscles, are forced to act as stabilizers – and become very tight as a result of being forced to perform a function they weren’t designed for. You can stretch the hamstrings until they scream and you still won’t solve the problem because the underlying cause of the tightness was never addressed. The hamstrings can only move more freely once the deep gluteals are strengthened and are working as stabilizers again.
The muscles of the “core” are considered stabilizers of the spine. If they aren’t balanced, the health of the spine can be compromised.
JOSEPH PILATES & HIS METHOD
Joseph Pilates was born in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1880 and died in the US in 1967. As a child, he suffered from asthma and rheumatic fever – afflictions that left him weak and defenseless.
From an early age, he started studying anatomy and movement and was known to watch watch animals move for hours to better understand how the human body might work. It was at this time that he started studying martial arts and boxing.
By the age of 14, he felt like he had mastered his own physical shortcomings and had developed his musculature sufficiently to pose as a model for anatomical posters.
He began practicing activities as varied as boxing, diving, and gymnastics.
His biographies highlight three main points:
An interest in a variety of sports in spite of his predisposition to fragility as a child.
A noted interest in incorporating the mind/body connection into his study of movement.
A strategy for developing the body in a balanced way while eliminating superfluous movements.
The movement system that he developed close to 80 years ago he named Contrology, not “Pilates.” There are over 500 classical exercises in the Pilates Method, and it requires time and patience first to master the exercises themselves, and then to learn to transmit those movements to others.
CoreAlign® au Studio A-Lyne
CoreAlign® est une méthode qui renforce l’acquisition et le maintien de la bonne posture.
Cette méthode est enseignée au studio A-Lyne.
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