You’ve heard of Pilates before--you may even have taken a class or two yourself! But did you know that you can take Pilates classes in a whole new way? Aqua Pilates is a fairly new, but in our opinion, way more fun way of taking a Pilates class. Instead of being in a gym, you’re now in the pool! You do much of the same moves and the principles as in traditional pilates, but in a new way.
But What is Pilates?
If you don’t know what Pilates is, you’re not alone. Pilates is art of controlled movements, that, when put together, can improve your flexibility, build strength, and develop control and endurance. The emphasis is placed on developing a strong core, focused around doing a few different movements or poses with precision and accuracy. When doing Aqua Pilates, these focus points become even more exaggerated, and you get an even stronger, and, we think, more fun workout!
There are a number of guiding principles in Pilates, all of which apply to Aqua Pilates, described below:
Perhaps the most important principle in Pilates is breathing. The idea is to increase oxygen intake, let that oxygen flow through the blood and body, cleansing it in the process. In Pilates, you breath on the effort and exhale on the release.
In Pilates, you do a specific kind of breathing called a “posterior lateral breath”, which means that you breathe deep into the back and sides of your rib cage. When you exhale, you should feel it deep in your abdomen and pelvic floor muscles. You should keep these muscles engaged as you go, and coordinate this with your movements.
The movements you perform in Pilates are not too strenuous, but it is important that you concentrate on each one and do them properly. If you slack on your motions, you won’t be able to reap the benefits Pilates has to offer!
Hand in hand with concentration, control is about performing each task as precisely as possible. More important than the number of exercises you do is the quality of each. Far better to do three exercises well then ten poorly.
The center of the body, the core, is often referred to as the “powerhouse” in Pilates. All of your movements should start at the center and move outward, away from the core.
Similar to yoga poses, when you have perfect each individual pilates technique, you can transition from one technique to the next to build strength and stamina. Physical energy from the center should move out to the extremities.
Using correct posture will help you build additional strength in your movements.
Completing a trifecta with control and concentration, Pilates focuses on creating clear, precise movements from one pose to the next. The goal is for precision to become second nature and eventually carry over into everyday life.
When you get the different poses and techniques down, you will Aqua Pilates to be one of the most relaxing exercises you’ve ever done.
The more you perform your Pilates practice, the more stamina you will have, both for the exercises and for your daily life. The benefits are immediate and apparent.
So now that you know the basics of traditional Pilates, you might be wondering what the difference is with Aqua Pilates. Turns out, not a lot. The same principles are traditional Pilates are replicated in Aqua Pilates. However, by being in a pool, the importance of breathing and precision is exaggerated. Plus, water can act as a kind of resistance to further challenge yourself.
A Great Workout!
Pilates by itself is an excellent workout. Taking Pilates into the pool, now that’s a whole other level!