Explore Your Core

“To achieve the highest accomplishments within the scope of our capabilities in all walks of life we must constantly strive to acquire strong, healthy bodies and develop our minds to the limits of our ability.” Joseph Pilates

By Kristine Cracknell  ::  Photography by Kelsey Grudle

With its ever-growing popularity, chances are you’ve heard someone singing the praises of Pilates. Everyone from celebrities to professional athletes to your friends and neighbors have been discovering the benefits of this mindful movement practice developed decades ago by Joseph Pilates.

Mr. Pilates sought to provide a method of training that would allow the body to age with grace, ease and efficiency. Today, many people seek out a Pilates class in search of the much-publicized flat abs or a longer, leaner look (and when performed properly and with commitment, you’ll find that!). But those benefits are just part of a much bigger picture. Under the instruction of a certified instructor, people of all shapes, sizes and levels of fitness have experienced improvements in muscular endurance, flexibility, spinal mobility, abdominal strength and body awareness with a regular Pilates practice.

Core strength is the foundation of the Pilates Method. Core muscles are the deep stabilizing muscles of the abdomen, back and pelvic floor. When core muscles are developed, the result is a strong back, correct alignment and efficient movement. Additionally, proficient use of core muscles though a consistent Pilates practice can correct muscular imbalance, a primary cause of injury and some chronic pains.

There are different ways to practice the Pilates Method; group versus personalized training sessions, and mat or equipment training. You may have seen those strange looking contraptions with equally strange names — the Cadillac, the Wunda Chair and the Reformer, the most commonly used Pilates apparatus. These specialized pieces of equipment use springs, bars, straps and a pulley system, and are designed to provide a very efficient workout that develops strength, flexibility and coordination. The equipment is used to tailor a Pilates session to a client’s individual rehabilitative and/or fitness needs. Practicing on the equipment offers a tremendous opportunity for variations and modifications, adapting appropriately for each body and making the workout accessible to the beginner while challenging the advanced Pilates student.

The same principles are incorporated into a mat workout. Pilates mat classes emphasize the same core exercise components of the equipment by using gravity, body weight and the occasional Pilates accessory provided by your instructor. The mat workout is appropriate for any healthy individual with no serious injuries.

Private equipment sessions and group mat classes are available at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. Come explore your core and discover the many benefits of Pilates!

Kristine Cracknell is a Comprehensively Certified Level 3 Peak Pilates Instructor. She can be reached at 210.860.7322 or pilates@cordilleraranch.com.

The Benefits of Pilates:

  • Improved Breathing
  • Efficient Movement
  • Better Mental Focus and Improved Concentration
  • Enhanced Body Awareness and Body Control
  • Improved Muscle Strength
  • Improved Balance
  • Better Coordination
  • Reduced Stress
  • Increased Muscle Flexibility and Joint Range of Motion

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