Understanding the Whole Body Pilates Method
When Joseph Pilates set out to introduce his innovative method of fitness training, he realized that successfully marketing the concept was a vital key to success. In order to communicate quickly and accurately his Whole Body approach, he designed the chart shown above.
For newcomers and practiced followers alike, his ability to visualize the essential five key connections between mind and body in a new and efficient way is as vital today as it was when he first conceived the relationships.
Just think about it. Golfers always favor one side of the body when approaching the ball and taking their swing (I assume you’re no different), which leads to a consistently lopsided game. Do you hold your breath? Lose your concentration? What is your body alignment?
All of these things are addressed in the Pilates Method which focuses on concentration, centering, core strength, posture, alignment, breath, flexibility (including rotational flexibility) and a uniformly developed body.
Stability in the pelvic and shoulder girdles translates into better balance.
A strong core coupled with stability and increased rotational flexibility leads to a better balanced golf swing and increased power to the club head.
Add in proper breathing, increased body awareness (i.e. posture, alignment and which muscle groups are being recruited to perform the task at hand) as well as a more focused approach, and it all adds up to a more biomechanically correct stance, swing and, ultimately, improved efficiency of movement for a lifetime of enjoyment on the course.
Breathing – Don’t Take It For Granted
For heaven’s sake – BREATHE! Sounds simple, but most people don’t do it. We tend to take short, shallow breaths that are not optimal for purposes of effectively and efficiently performing our daily tasks much less what we ask of our body during exercise.
For the maximum benefit of air/oxygen exchange in the bloodstream we must fully expand the ribcage to inhale and then totally empty the lungs on the exhale – all of which is a vital part of any Pilates program. For more info and instructions on an exercise to help you on your way to better breathing, you’ll enjoy this article by Power Pilates instructor Deborah Slade.