Mat Pilates - It's Not About the Legs

One of the guiding principles of the Pilates method of exercise is to develop all the muscles in the body to be capable of performing their role in the movement and function of the body.

Another is to create great movement and function by placing the highest importance on developing the muscles of the trunk and torso…followed secondarily by developing the limbs.

The mat pilates journey of mastering the traditional exercises, like The Scissors, takes you very deeply in to these principles.

Whilst The Scissors does involve you moving your legs, and you do need to use the muscles of the legs…the essence of the exercise is not about the legs!

As always, you initiate any exercise with the breath and “switching on” your centre, and then you need to drive the movement from the “Pilates Powerhouse”, which is the entire trunk and torso.

The exercise just won’t work if you just think of moving your legs.

You need to understand where to position your pelvis in relation to gravity, you have to breathe through the movement to engage your abdominals, you need to use your spine muscles and not slouch into the spine.

The limbs are weights for what is happening in your trunk and torso.

When you get the “Pilates Powerhouse” fired up and working effectively, all of a sudden, your legs will lose their “weight” and become light and move freely.

Learning to do this can be a challenge!

But as Joseph Pilates himself said…

“With patience and perseverance, you should eventually succeed in achieving the ideals posed – with accompanying normal health”

This is where the principle of concentration kicks in.

Focused attention on how you are doing and exercise, especially one like The Scissors, rather than what you are doing is fundamental to mat pilates.

It’s about developing a true mind-body connection, with neither the mind or body being dominant, but both working equally and in a co-ordinated way.

Mat pilates requires complete co-ordination of body, mind and spirit for any forward progress to be made and you do want forward progress as the benefits can be quite remarkable.



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