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A note from Jen

Soooo after classes on Monday one of my lovely ladies asked what Pilates exercises should she do at home to really target her tummy and core and well my answer is all of them…….



One of the things that makes Pilates unique and in my humble opinion absolutely brilliant are the underlying concepts/principles that we use in each movement. One of these principles is ‘centering’. This is where focus is bought to the centre line of the body where all of our Pilates movements originate. The energy for each and every movement starts with engaging that all important core or “ powerhouse” as Joseph Pilates would say. 



The core extends from the ribs down to the pelvic basin incorporating the abdominal muscles, back, pelvic floor , inner thighs and buttocks ( a lot I know).


Whilst we are on the subject of those all important concepts/principles let’s chat about the others. 


Concentration:

We are working on building that all important mind body connection through our Pilates practice. We are aiming for conscious control of our bodies. There a lot’s of different instructions and cues within each exercise which can be confusing at first but concentration is like a muscle the more we work it the stronger it gets…… my top tip is to try close your eyes sometimes and see if blocking out the visual world around you helps you concentrate on the movement and feelings in your body . 


Control:

In Pilates we are really working towards performing each exercise with control, this not only minimising the risk of injury but really producing great results. Unlike other exercise regimes, we are not looking for lots of reps, we want quality over quantity!


Precision:

Its all about alignment  and positioning my friends!

Each exercise has a precise intention and instructions to work the body in the best allignemnt. I mean how many times have you heard “ shoulders away from ears”

With time and practice precision increasing resulting in improved posture and overall movement patterns. 


Breath:

We work to keep the core gently engaged as we breathe in through the nose expanding the sides and back of the rib cage, this fills the lower lobes that we very rarely use.  Breathing this way is going to really improve lung capacity. We exhale through the mouth helping to engage that core deeper. 


Every pilates exercise has its own breath pattern which enhances each movement……. But don’t worry if all the breathing is a bit much at first, I promise you it is/was for everyone, including me. The breath patterns will come as your body learns the exercises. Just try not to hold your breath.


Flow: 

This principle is often the last to master so please don’t worry. Once you get used the movements , breath patterns and alignment we can work with more continuous flowing movements. 


And there we have it, Centring, concentration, control, precision, breath and flow. The things that make pilates a little different and a lot enjoyable. 


Look forward to moving with you soon,

Love Jen


  • Catch Jen on Monday mornings at 10am all levels reformer & 11am Beginners reformer.



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