Development of Pilates:During World War 1, whilst in a German internment camp, Pilates came up with the theory that the best way to improve one's core strength was by developing: controlled breathing, aligning the spine and coordination and balance techniques. His fellow inmates all participated in his exercises and thus during the 1918 flu pandemic, many survived due to their physical strength.Effects on the body:Research has suggested that Pilates have numerous effects on the body, focusing on toning and strengthening muscles without bulking them up. These benefits include:Increased core strength
Better movement from the spine and joints
Improved posture, coming from better balance, stability and coordination skills
Leaner muscles for better movement
Heightened body awarenessAll these benefits made Pilates hugely popular amongst gymnasts, dancers and present day sports stars; like: Andy Murray, Tiger Woods and Ryan Giggs. Practices that facilitate Pilates will focus on the six principles of Pilates 'Concentration, Control, Centering, Efficiency of movement, Precision and Breathing'. All of which, exercises are created to follow.Concentration:With total commitment and full on focus, participants ensure their maximum work-out. Concentration connects your mind to all body parts, this will enable one to focus on every detail and thus lead to the perfection of each alignment.
Control:This was Joseph Pilates preferred name for his method, deriving from 'Contrology'. Being in total control of your body allows you to develop a strong mind-body connection, whereby your mind dictates movement; uncontrollable movement can lead to injury.Centering:The centre of the body (abdomen, lower and upper back, thighs, hips and gluts), is where all the power is generated. All movement should flow freely from the centre of the body to each individual body part during exercise.Efficiency of Movement:When doing the Pilates exercises, it is extremely important that there are no pauses or breaks between them. Ensuring fluidity of movement will build up strength and stamina in the body, connecting all body parts from the core, ensuring muscles are always working.Precision:Joseph Pilates used to say 'Honour every movement' - by this, he meant that you must focus on doing a few precise but seamless repetitions. By doing so, these repetitions will slowly get integrated into the daily routine, making you grow stronger and preform daily routines more efficiently.Breathing:Steady breathing allows the body to coordinate itself with the mind, providing greater control. Inhaling before a movement and exhaling to execute it provides greater oxygenation of the blood, increasing the circulation around the body and flexibility of muscles. This is seen as cleansing and invigorating to the body and mind.