The Pilates method was created by Joseph H. Pilates in the early 20’s. It is a set of exercises whose purpose is to exercise the body and mind, because through its practice, in addition to improving your physical condition, you can increase your capacity for control and concentration. In fact, it is also known as ‘contrology’.
Through the combination of Eastern and Western traditions, Pilates was able to create a routine of more than 500 exercises that combined calmness and flexibility (eastern) along with gaining strength and muscular tone (Western). Although the truth is that the method could be reduced to 34 basic exercises from which combinations and variations arise. In them anatomical angles and physiological levers are worked concrete, and must always be performed to the rhythm of breathing, being totally concentrated in the movements that are performed.
It is an intense and effective method that produces remarkable benefits in the musculature, but this has not been the only reason for its extended practice. Without a doubt, the fact that internationally famous celebrities like Madonna, Sharon Stone, Kate Moss and Jennifer Aniston practice it has made it even more popular.
Principles of Pilates
The Pilates method is part of the group of anaerobic exercises, that is to say, those physical activities that non-endurance based and are instead used to promote strength and power.
Its main objective is not to burn calories, but to strengthen the muscles and increase the control, strength and flexibility of the body. Although, like all physical exercise, it supposes an increase in the energy expenditure and, therefore, also contributes to maintaining a balanced weight.
The six essential principles of this method are control, concentration, fluidity, precision, breathing and centering. Precisely, with this last principle, Pilates refers to a specific area of the body called the powerhouse, which is also known as the mansion of power. This area is made up by the abdominal muscles, the base of the back and the buttocks and the intention is that, through its strengthening, the rest of the body parts will be exercised.
Most exercises are performed through a series of slow and gentle movements and with the help of devices designed specifically for this discipline. In each and every one of these controlled movements the person tries to achieve the highest possible precision through the control of breathing, the correct alignment of the body and, of course, concentration. In this way, violent or uncontrolled gestures that may be aggressive to the organism are avoided.