In the last ten years the concept of posture has evolved rapidly and is now a subject of widespread knowledge. Among the different schools and methods that deal with posture, the Pilates technique emerges.
The originality of the technique is combined with the new postural and movement control concepts meaning posture not only as a static but a dynamic fact.
Joseph Hubertus Pilates, an admirer of physical perfection and high-level performance, was a forerunner in the study of posture, through the analysis of every movement, over the years he created method, technique and tools.
Initially, having to re-educate subjects returning from trauma, he adopted simple and rudimentary tools to facilitate the resumption of motor activity and, among the various aids available, he used the spring for its versatility. Unique at the time, J.H. Pilates allowed and encouraged early movement during rehabilitation by ensuring the necessary assistance thanks to the springs, an instrument that, by virtue of its characteristics, favored recovery and stimulated movement by means of “non-destructive forces” and without risk.
The experiences of that period led him to develop the tools known today as Universal Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrel or Spine Corrector, in which the spring was the main tool, the fulcrum of every motor exercise. The tools are to be considered the evolution of the original work on the mat, as, without adequate physical preparation it is complex to perform free body exercises.
The result of applying the method, therefore, combines free body exercises, tools, breathing, centering, concentration, precision, coordination and fluidity of movement. All of this can be traced back to the term fulcrum, or the cornerstone of a new awareness of the body through the organization of the mind.
The Pilates environment does not refer to a structure, but to a way of thinking and acting towards reeducation to movement. It is conducive to finalized objectives, in relation to the needs and requirements of the subject who seeks the reasoned movement. With the Pilates technique, even the most complex or difficult exercise can be practiced successfully, through the learning of each unstructured phase of the exercise itself, up to reconstructing it in its complexity with new synergies between learning of the new pattern and the evolution of the movement expressed by the body. Each exercise is broken down into various phases considering the adaptation to natural constraints: gravity, applied load forces and the support base. Each phase, with the Pilates technique, can be perfected and facilitated with the use of tools, with the support of the spring and small tools. In each movement, the applied forces are measured by increasing or reducing the tension of the springs, the support base is evaluated by widening or reducing it and the orientation of the body towards gravity is changed until the ability to work free body without perceiving it is changed the difficulty.
The tools, the spring and gravity are fused and exploited to allow each, through the evolution of each phase, to achieve and efficient, functionally valid movement, recover performance and correct posture without risk. The ultimate goal of working in a Pilates environment is to regain a new awareness of one’s body in relation to the surrounding space in the various functional positions, from lying down, more comfortable and relaxing, to the more dynamic and performing one, the upright position.
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