Navigating through Pilates

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Pilates is fast becoming a household name in India. As you familiarise yourself with this exercise form, you might come across some strange and alien terms. Here is a handy guide to help you with the most commonly used Pilates terms

Cadillac
A Pilates instrument that consists of a horizontal, raised table top within a frame of four posts to which are attached a number of bars, straps, springs and levers. Pilates exercises are performed on the mat as well as on such equipment.

Centering
The centre of the body, called the Powerhouse, is the starting point of all Pilates exercises. Centering involves focusing on this point.

Core
Both the deep and superficial muscles of the body, especially the abdomen and back, that are pivotal to the trunk of the body. Strengthening the body’s core is the foundation of Pilates.

Core strength
The balanced development of the muscles of the core.

Lateral breathing
A Pilates breathing technique which requires a deep breath to be taken in while keeping the abdominal muscles contracted.

Magic Circle
A Pilates device which is essentially a flexible ring with handles. It is used to work out the muscles in the upper arms, neck and inner thighs.

Parallel stance
An upright stance where the legs, knees, ankles and feet with toes pointing forwards are aligned directly under the hip joints.

Pilates stance
A stance where the heels are pressed together and the toes point out at a 45° angle.

Powerhouse
The muscles in the centre which include the abdomen, lower and upper back, buttocks, hips and inner thighs, comprise the powerhouse.

Reformer
A Pilates equipment that is a set up of pulleys and springs designed to provide resistance to the body. The practitioner lifts against gravity and overcomes the resistance of springs.

Wunda Chair
A Pilates equipment designed to strengthen the powerhouse muscles.

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