Introduction to Mat Pilates

Quick and easy classes to get you started…

Pre-Pilates: A

The Foundations …

This video will get you started in all the basic positions and get you started with: breath, pelvic position & stability, scapular mobility & stability abdominal work & spinal rotation.

 

The emphasis is only on The Fundamentals of Movement.

 

More details: click here

Pre-Pilates: B

digging deeper…

This video builds on from the previous video. 

 

Though we’re still focussing on the Fundamentals of Movement, we now start to dig deeper.  These challenge may be in terms of strength and also in terms of control.

 

More details: click here

Pre-Pilates: C

the complete Foundations…

This is the final chapter in the Pre-Pilates series. 

 

If you have followed each of these workouts in turn and assimilated the Foundations of Movement, you are well on your way to really getting the best out of your Pilates practice!

 

More details: click here

Pilates: 1

A Pilates starter …

This will get you started with Pilates.  The emphasis is on reinforcing The Fundamentals of Movement that we learnt in A, B & C while adding in more Pilates exercises.

Pilates: 2

coming soon …

Pilates: 3

coming soon…

The Principles of Pilates

(Premium Video Content for Clients)

Before we begin …

 

These concepts, and the exercises that illustrate them (Premium Content for current clients), represent the absolute foundations upon which all Pilates is built.  And that’s both Classical / Traditional and Contemporary.  Without these principles it might look like Pilates, but but it wouldn’t be.  And that’s not just a purist talking – the exercises completely lose their effectiveness.

 

There are some forty videos with exercises that you can practice at home to deepen your Pilates Practice and help you get the most benefit of the work you do in the studio :-).

 

It would be better to be working out in a traditional gym environment bearing these Foundations in mind than doing “Pilates” without them.  Because it wouldn’t be Pilates – It would be simply going through the motions!

1. Breathing

2. Deep Core Activation

Conscious use of breath (as we breathe in and out) helps us to activate our abdominal core: back muscles, diaphragm, pelvic floor and the corset like muscle that wraps around our middle.  Not only that, but inhalation also assists us in stretching, particularly our chest and shoulders when we are in rotation and/or spinal extension.

This is deeply Connected to deep Core Activation.  Deep Core Activation and Abdominal Strength are not the same things, because Deep Core Activation targets the Diaphragm, Pelvic Floor and Multifidi and not just the abdominals.

3. Lumbo-Pelvic Position

4. Lumbo-Pelvic Control

Our whole musculoskeletal system works best when our spine maintains its three natural curves.  Lumbo-Pelvic position describes the relationship between our lower back (lumbar spine) and our pelvis.  Muscle imbalances result in faulty pelvic positioning and put strain on out lower back causing shearing forces that can result in pain, strain and slipped disks.

Exercises that involve holding the pelvis stable while moving the legs target pelvic control.  The ability to become aware of and control our pelvic position is partly related to core strength, but it also includes all the other (leg) muscles that attach to the spine and pelvis.

5. Abdominal Strength

6. Spinal Strength & Mobility

Abdominal strengthening is achieved either by flexing (bending forwards) your spine, or by consciously keeping our pelvis still while we move our legs.

Our spine needs to move forwards, backwards, rotation and sideways.  Every activity of our everyday lives involves spinal mobility.  It needs to to be strong in all these planes of motion to absorb the forces that are exerted on it.  Lack of mobility and/or strength results in spinal pain or injury.

7. Shoulder Mobility

8. Shoulder Stabilization

Acquiring full range of motion of the shoulder, one of the most anatomically complex areas of the body, can make a massive difference in how we look and feel.  Reaching up and over our head without pain nor impingement is usually taken for granted but is sorely missed when not there.

Once mobility has been achieved, more focus on strength can begin so that we can not only reach up to hat cupboard in the kitchen, but we can support the weight of the object we are taking down.

9. Alignment

10. Posture

Coming soon!

If we practice incorrect alignment, we will become misaligned.  In your lessons, your teacher will use your body landmarks to assess and to ensure that you are working towards correct posture.

Common examples of postural/alignment problems include: abnormal spinal curvature: scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis; winged or elevated shoulder blades; pelvic misalignment in any orientation; femoral external rotation, knock knees, knee hyperextension; overly pronated or supinated feet, bunions; and finally, upper and lower crossed syndromes.

11. Stretching

… & Release

Coming soon!

Unlike Release Work which focuses on the skeletal system and fascia, stretching is much more focussed on muscles, in particular the hamstrings, low back, shoulders and hips.  There are several conflicting theories about stretching, but one common element is that to make iot effective, we need to stretch frequently, in small sessions over a period of time.

 

There are several theories about what features constitute a good stretch but most agree that the most important element is that the self-protecting stretch reflex must be overcome for long enough to allow the muscle to relax and therefore stretch.  Therefor you need to expect that your teacher will have you holding these “static” stretches for times up to a minute.

Joseph Pilates’: “Return to Life Through Contrology”*

“breath”
“centering”
“concentration”
“control”
“flow”
“precision”

* Joseph Pilates: Return to Life Through Contrology (1945)