What is pilates?
Named after it's creator Joseph Pilates (1883 - 1967), Pilates is an innovative system of exercise employing a series of strength based and dynamic movements using the 'core muscles', (the muscles which stabilise the trunk and protect the spine) demanding concentration and precision.
The benefits of Pilates include improved core strength leading to better back health, increased overall physical strength, improved posture, balance, co-ordination, muscle tone and flexibility, joint stability and mobility all of which can aid us on a functional and practical day to day level. What's not to love?!
The focus placed on breathing during class encourages a mind-body connection, improving concentration helping to reduce stress and increase the feeling of well-being while helping us to better execute the exercises.
Pilates is very accessible regardless of age, fitness level or prior exercise experience and yes of course it can be fun! Check out the Grá For Fitness locations and class times, learn more working out at work with Corporate Pilates or find out about hosting your own classes with Pilates Club. See what the Grá For Fitness Pilates clients have to say!
Personally, even though I have kept my fitness levels up over the years with resistance training, various aerobic classes and sport, I had assumed my core was strong...until I first started Pilates, and discovered I was wrong.
A stronger core has been of huge benefit to me, but also improved body awareness, and I'll be honest it took me a while to understand what this phrase even meant. Pilates has made me more aware of my posture, general body alignment and the effects of everyday tasks like hunching over my laptop or looking down at my phone and driving can have. It has also improved my concentration greatly, as this is vital for the precise execution of the Pilates exercises...alas too late for my leaving cert (sorry Mum!), but nevertheless another Pilates benefit that has had a positive impact on my life.