What is Fitness Pilates?

Fitness Pilates is a training option that focuses on the body as a human kinetic chain. By applying the fundamental Pilates technique and exercises Fitness Pilates aims to offset musculoskeletal imbalances.

The aim of F.P is to identify basic postural imbalances and through Pilates based exercises:

! Increase muscular balance and strength

! Improve posture

! Facilitate ability to optimally function occupationally and recreationally

! Improve Core and Back Strength

The Pilates technique focuses on strengthening the centre by relearning the mind and body to recruit core muscles. Basic Pilates involves finding and maintaining the neutral position during standing, prone and supine positions.

! Contraction of the TA and pelvic floor

! Maintaining stabilization of the core muscles whilst being challenged by movement of the limbs

! Increased flexibility and strength of the lumbar, thoracic, and cervical spine

Where does Fitness Pilates fit in with other Pilates programmes?

Fitness Pilates is a group exercise programme designed to enhance the posture, strength, balance, and stability of a healthy adult. Fitness Pilates is based upon the teachings of Joseph Pilates and effective exercise prescription. It is not remedial, clinical, or diagnostic in its approach but has its base firmly in group fitness.

Fundamentals of Fitness Pilates

For beginners to Fitness Pilates abdominal bracing needs to be learnt, understood, and practiced.

1. Find neutral spine in supine, prone, quadruped, and standing

2. Practice abdominal bracing in each position

Breathing

Breathing properly encourages effective oxygenation of the blood. Incorporating proper breathing during exercise helps relax the muscles and avoid tension. A relaxed and full breath pattern helps focus the mind and allow concentration upon each exercise, exhaling deeply can help activate the deep abdominal muscles.

Inhale through the nose allowing the rib cage to expand, try to avoid breathing into the abdominals, maintain thoracic breathing into the rib-cage. Exhale through the mouth. Begin each movement with contraction of the pelvic floor muscles, focus on the pelvis contracting first then the abdominals will co-contract. As you begin the exercise the pelvic floor muscles will relax away so concentrate on bracing the abdominals.