In the early 20th century the Pilates method was created under the name ‘Contrology’. Now named after the creator of the series of exercises, Pilates classes offer a controlled approach to exercise to improve body awareness and good quality movement.
Pilates exercises and classes focus on improving ‘core’ stability and strength. ‘Core’ has become a buzz word in the fitness industry and rightly so as it has a lot of relevance to our health. The core can be defined as our torso or our bodies without our arms and legs. Traditionally when thinking of how to exercise the core, we immediately think of sit ups to improve strength. Whilst this exercise is ok, it mainly targets the superficial six pack muscles and misses out on training the rest of the torso.
In a Pilates class, you will learn how to engage your ‘core’ muscles or your deep abdominal and back muscles layers below your six pack. Once these muscles are strong, the Pilates method explains that it is the foundation for a strong body. This makes sense as if you imagine our bodies like a building, if the core structure is weak, the rest of the building will also be weak even if it appears to look solid.
Classes are moderate in intensity and low impact making them great for anyone to participate in particularly if you are recovering from injury, have given birth or have lower back pain.
Although classes take place on an exercise mat and may sound like an easy option, the original 36 exercises from Joseph Pilates were tough. Modern day Pilates has taken the 36 original exercises and created regressions so that participants can perfect their technique and get stronger at the easier versions before progressing to the advanced original exercises.
For more information and to try some Pilates for yourself contact Virgin Active Health Club Stafford on 01785 231612.