A good deal of hype surrounds the mystique of Pilates exercise. For example, Pilates proponents claim that the method magically melts the fat away from your love handles. Get out your tin foil hat when you hear that kind of stuff. On the other hand, when combined with a regular program of aerobic exercise and proper, to use everyone’`s hated four-letter word, diet, Pilates offers an ideal tool for reacquainting you with your waistline.
Pilates Conquers the Slouch
Our Clinical Pilates gurus receive detailed training in identifying and correcting posture problems, especially the great waistline destroyer known as “The Slouch.” Pilates training teaches you how to defiantly defy gravity. It does this by introducing you to your deepest layer of your core musculature – the muscles responsible for stabilizing your spine in an upright position. Upright is where you want to be in order to avoid the slouch. When you stand up straight, you appear taller, which means that you weigh less for your height.
Sculpting the Coveted V-Shape
Some Pilates exercises target your latissimus dorsi muscles, which run down the sides of your back. These muscles help you press your shoulders down away from your ears, thereby eliminating that perpetually stressed-out appearance. A well-developed set of lats creates that coveted “V-shape,” which makes your waist look smaller. It’s all done with muscles.
Pilates Side Bends
Between the mat and the equipment, the Pilates method has more side-bending exercises than you can imagine. These movements effectively strengthen your external obliques whilst they chisel your waistline with the precision of a sculptor. Most of them use a larger range of motion than the typical side-bend exercise, making them even more effective. Some of the Pilates exercises work overtime by simultaneously engaging your external obliques and your latissimus dorsi.
Rotational Pilates Exercises
As a highly athletic individual who worked with athletes and dancer, Joseph Pilates had a clear understanding of the importance of rotational movements. As such, the entire Pilates mat and equipment repertoire is filled with effective upper torso rotational exercises, which engage your obliques, core and abdominal muscles.
One of these exercises, known as the criss-cross, involves lying supine with your legs lifted and extended. As one knee bends, your torso rotates toward it. In a landmark study that made a huge impact on the international fitness industry, the American Council on Exercise, referring to the criss-cross as the bicycle maneuver, honored it with placement at the top of the list of most effective exercises for the abdominal and oblique area. When you add Pilates equipment to this exercise, it becomes even more effective.
It’s Not What You Do, It’s How You Do It
Thus far, we have only described the Pilates exercises, but that is only part of the reason that Pilates is so effective. The method, originally called Contrology, requires movement precision, control, fluidity and concentration. A special breathing pattern, designed to engage your deeper core muscles, accompanies every exercise. Our fully qualified Clinical Pilates gurus are qualified to teach you these movement methods, and get you on your way to transforming your waistline.
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