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The fundamentals of Pilates: It is for EVERYONE!

Pilates is for everyone! Young to elderly and everyone in between. The Pilates Method has been around for decades and is known for its ability to sculpt bodies. By working with the fundamentals of Pilates, you are able to: increase stability, increase total body strength (Believe it, there is not a muscle group missed in a Pilates class!), rehabilitate past injuries, prevent new injuries from occurring, increase flexibility, increase balance and coordination and of course TONE!

By focusing on the core fundamentals of Pilates, instructors are able to work the entire body by layering exercises and challenging more than one muscle group at a time.

5 FUNdamentals of Pilates:

  1. Abdominal Curls
    • Laying on your back, slowly scooping your abdominal muscles and rounding through the thoracic spine (upper back) in order to lift slightly off of the mat. The abdominal curl is a small movement, and only the shoulder blades are to lift off of the mat.leslie curl
  2. Pelvic Peels
    • Laying on your back, posteriorly tilting your pelvis slightly while lifting your pelvis off the mat and into a small bridge, engaging your core, pelvic floor, back, legs and helps to stabilize the pelvis and protect the low back.Leslie Pelvic Peel
  3. Spinal extension
    • Laying on your stomach, slowing lifting torso off of the mat engaging the back muscles. Listen to your body on how much range of motion (ROM) can be done. A good tip is start off with a small ROM then progress slowly into full ROM. Contract the quadriceps and slightly push the pubic bone into the mat to protect the low back.leslie spinal ext
  4. Thigh lifts
    • Laying on your back, lift your knees into a 90 degree angle, otherwise known as “tabletop”, engaging abdominals throughout the movement to avoid the hip flexors from activating. This can be completed one leg at a time, or both at a time.
  5. Caterpillar Curl
    • Abdominal curl and thigh lifts simultaneously, challenging the entire core, front and back. Ensure the legs are squeezing together and the inner thighs are activated throughout each phase of this movement. Hold at the top for a second before releasing top and bottom to the floor.Leslietabletop

Although there are many exercises that are taught in a 55 minute class, most of the exercises are layered from the fundamentals listed above. These fundamentals help to re-pattern in-correct movement and encourage healthy movement to take its place. As mentioned before, these exercises challenge stability, balance, coordination and of course will strengthen the entire body creating lean and long musculature!

Why NOT give it a try?!

By: Leslie Schneckenburger

Learn more about pilates here!

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