Pilates — Technique and Precision
Pilates demonstration of true strength, co-ordination and control stems from technique and precision. It is more than just being on a reformer and working up a sweat. Pilates is about moving with intention — technique, and being mindful of its execution — precision.
It is true learning the sequence and co-ordination of each exercise is part of Pilates, but it is in the detail that one learns to work from the correct muscles to change the body. This is why Pilates is not simply aerobic but an exercise methodology.
The most obvious benefits of adopting good Pilates technique are;
- Precision therefore better execution of exercises
- Faster progression and results of strength training and conditioning
- Better rehabilitation therefore faster recovery from injury
- Better proprioception (body awareness)
- More focus in Mind and Body
Due to the commercialisation of Pilates, I am witnessing (to my displeasure) more and more the dilution of the Pilates technique through variant offerings of Pilates group classes.
Some Pilates studios offers small group equipment classes which are usually 3–5 people rotating from one piece equipment to another doing a range of different exercises. Yes — you get to do exercises you see on utube and Yes — they (some) are Pilates exercises. However, these classes do NOT teach you the Pilates method and how to work from your Powerhouse.
And as a direct result I see new clients coming into the studio having done Pilates for year/s with no powerhouse and embodiment of the 6 main principles of Pilates; Concentration, Control, Precision, flow, centering, breathing
The uniqueness of the Pilates method is in its technique and application. The application is individual and the ‘cues’ and instruction for the same exercise will vary from body to body. In group classes this specificity for each exercise are streamlined for general application. As for classes that rotate between equipment — this brings a gym-like mentality of circuit training to Pilates which is the antitheses of what true Pilates is about. It promotes a superficial understanding that in turns denigrates Pilates and its methodology.
My philosophy in life, work and play is simple — in earnest with sincerity and integrity. Yes — Pilates technique is an investment in both time and money, but true strength is achieved over time and quality of instruction does come at a cost. If you choose to do Pilates — do it with gumption and not half heartedly.
Yung Ok Yoo is the studio owner of True Pilates Sydney and Principal Instructor teaching Traditional Romana’s Pilates. More information about True Pilates can be found here