6 Elements of the Pilates Method
All of these elements are an integral part of every Pilates class, whether with Matwork or with Pilates machines.
A series of bodyweight exercises performed on the mat, developed by the founder of the Pilates method, Joseph Pilates.
These exercises strengthen the deep abdominal muscles to develop pelvic and scapula stability, create a connection between breath and movement, and improve stretching.
The most important word in Pilates is “Powerhouse”: where the strength and control starts from the inside. Connection with the transverse abdominals, the pelvic floor and the back muscles, allow every movement to be executed in a safe and controlled manner.
Matwork classes can be varied by using a selection of props, such as the Magic Circle, Theraband, and Soft Ball.
Pilates with Machines
Joseph Pilates created different machines that allow everyone to work to their specific needs.
The most famous are the Reformer, the Cadillac and the Chair.
This is the most famous Pilates machine. It looks like a rudimentary movable bed that has different springs to increase/decrease tension; a footbar; shoulder stop; and straps with handles made for both hands and feet.
It increases core stability, improves posture, increases flexibility and enhances breathing.
The work with the Reformer is universal, essentially good for everyone of all ages and abilities: for professional sports-people to improve performance; during rehabilitation; and during and after pregnancy.
This is a bed with a frame that has various equipment: springs for supporting and challenging the work; a Tower that can perform a multitude of exercises; and a rolling back bar.
The work on the Cadillac is very controlled and suitable for all, especially for beginners and those in rehabilitation. It performs many different exercises that are preparatory for both Matwork and the Reformer.
This chair has a seat, pedals and springs attached to pedals that adjust resistance.
The work on the chair is very challenging, a total body workout with focus on complete body strength.
Upper/lower body is engaged deeply.
It is suitable for sports-people and athletes, as well as those rehabilitating, such as after a knee injury. Proprioceptive work is an important aspect of this machine.
This is a workout class combining ballet with Pilates/Yoga elements and strength training.
It is a full body workout that strengthens the core and tones legs and glutes.
You don't need to be a ballet dancer to take part in a Barre fitness class. It is suitable for everyone who likes to move.