December 18, 2019
One of the most effective ways to tone and strengthen your body while burning fat and calories is by practicing Pilates. When performed properly, the average person can burn anywhere between 250 and 430 calories in an hour long Pilates class, depending on their weight, level of fitness and how advanced the Pilates session is.
You might have noticed that I said, ‘When performed properly’. Technique, positioning, coordination and control are essential because, as with any workout or sport, the exercises have to be performed properly to achieve optimum results. Having said that, there is one important aspect of every Pilates routine that will affect the outcome of your workout and your overall Pilates experience. It’s called eye focus and it can help you target certain areas of your body during your workout.
What is eye focus and why does where you look make a difference in your workout? Eye focus is the act of looking in a certain direction throughout the movement of each exercise. You choose a point above and ahead of you and focus your attention on that point. One of the differences that Pilates training offers over traditional methods of exercise is that there is a focused concentration on working the body through a full range of motion while, at the same time, developing good spine articulation from your head to your tailbone. It is this focus that makes the Pilates system such a beneficial full-body integration training method. If you watch a military parade (not that you may do so very often) you’ll note that the troops keep their eye gaze above eye level. This has a direct effect upon posture and how the shoulders sit.. proud!
Now, when performing a Pilates exercise, it is best to relieve the tension that our head puts on our neck and shoulders. This is where eye focus comes in. To keep the weight of our head from creating more tension in the body, we need to focus our attention on that imaginary point ahead and above of us so that we can support the head with the muscles of our upper abdominals and middle back and to keep our head and neck in as “neutral” a position as possible.
Modern day living dictates that we keep our heads angled or tilted forward whilst at the computer, driving or texting. This creates not only tension but general poor posture. We’ve forgotten to look up and see what’s around us!
Using your eyes while performing Pilates can provide efficient and sequential articulation of the spine and maximise your workout, helping you achieve much more positive results.
Many sports or daily activities require balance and coordination. For example when standing balanced on one leg the difference between maintaining your gaze on a fixed position and moving the eyes and head up, down and side to side is huge. Rapid movement of the eye or gaze creates disorientation and in turn directly effects your balance. The inner ear (balance) mechanism works with your vision. When your eyes move your visions blurs and consequently impacts your ability to balance. Heads up and eyes up everyone☺
To learn more reasons why staying focused during your Pilates workout is important, contact myPilateslondon and sign up for a Studio Pilates programme which can make you stronger, faster and more resilient.
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