Pilates with Hanneke Blog
Joseph Pilates was a man of many great quotes on health, fitness, and life in general. One of my favorites is one that I find most important when doing any form of exercise. "A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion."
Many of my clients often ask me why we only do 3-8 (maybe 12) reps of the Pilates movements. The answer is exactly that of Mr. Pilates' quote! It's about quality, NOT quantity. Doing a few well designed exercises for a few reps as best you can, with the most perfect form, will help to achieve your goals faster and prevent injury.
Why? When you do less of a certain exercise you'll concentrate more on every part of your body as opposed to just the muscle group that's starting to kill you. For example, when you do 100 bicep curls, you probably forget to stand up nice and straight and pull in your abs. Instead, your whole mind is consumed by how much your biceps are burning. Before you know it, you tweak your lower back.
Doing fewer reps will get you to achieve your goals faster. When you do fewer reps, you can focus on your entire body, therefore activating and assisting almost all of your core muscles. By allowing these muscles to work together, you're helping them get stronger. Your whole body will be more balanced, and this will help prevent overuse and injury of a particular muscle group.
My first time clients are always amazed about how much focus and concentration is needed to do Pilates. Focusing on the proper form and really working with the right muscles in your body takes brain power. This makes you forget about anything and everything outside of the Pilates studio, and contributes to a happier and stress free you! Just think about it - concentrating on the present, living in the moment, focusing 100% on just YOU for an entire session - what a great gift to give yourself.
This leads us to my other two favorite quotes by Mr Pilates:
"A body free from nervous tension and fatigue is the ideal shelter provided by nature for housing a well balanced mind, fully capable of successfully meeting all the complex problems of modern living.
"Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor."
Enjoy your workout, forget the outside world for a while, do whatever you do with focus and dedication, and you'll reap the full benefits!
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