The essence of the Pilates method lies in strengthening the ‘core’ (deep muscles), increasing spinal mobility, and developing muscle strength and body awareness. Through its exercises, certain musculoskeletal problems affecting the back, hips, knees, and shoulders can be effectively managed, addressing imbalances in muscle strength.
Joseph Pilates (the creator of this holistic method), believed that the key to alleviating and healing pain lies not in focusing on the problem itself, but in mobilizing the entire body through precise exercise execution. To master the method, he established various principles:
Each movement in the exercises is a well-thought-out process, demanding maximum concentration. It is also known as ‘mindful movement’. The complete focus is on the movement, excluding the external environment, establishing a mind-body connection with concentration entirely directed towards the exercise.
While essential to the technique, breathing is also the most challenging aspect to learn. Inhalation is directed to the back and sides while the deep abdominal muscles are slightly contracted. Exhalation occurs during the greatest effort.
It is crucial to work with the central muscles, the deep muscles, when executing exercises. Every movement is controlled by the contraction of the abdominal muscles. The goal is for the body to function as a unit.
The exercises aim to strengthen the muscles and the body against gravity. The slower the movement, the greater the force required for execution.
Initially, assuming the correct body position is challenging, but experience gained through the technique leads to controlled movements.
Exercises are performed with continuous movement, like a wheel rolling at a consistent speed throughout the entire cycle and range of motion. Alternating between concentric and eccentric phases provides a complete, balanced, and functional workout.
Exercises present different challenges for everyone due to varying body types, strengths, and weaknesses. Through balance, we understand the structure of our bodies and become capable of isolation through the control of different muscles and muscle groups.
This method is not designed to replace other forms of movement but to strengthen the body, which can be beneficial in everyday life or other sports.
The principles of Pilates can be applied not only in your daily routine but also in other sports. It's no coincidence that Pilates has become a supplementary training for many elite athletes.