I am qualified in Body Control Pilates (BCP) which teaches functional movement that promotes good posture, correct muscular balance, efficient breathing and healthy joints. BCP focuses on joints, rather than muscles, teaching that the only way to get the right muscles to work, and to release muscle tension, is to ensure that the whole skeleton is correctly aligned. The focus is therefore on the spine, on strengthening it in its neutral alignment and full range of movement.
Alignment itself is not sufficient to ensure correct, healthy movement. Breathing is just as important. Correcting your way of breathing helps correct your posture and vice-versa. BCP teaches deep diaphragmatic breathing that helps release tension (both physically and psychologically!) and promotes good movement.
As for core strength, BCP promotes a functional, ‘dimmer-switch’ approach to centring whereby the deeper abdominal muscles are used only when there is loss of stability and risk of injury. Over-engaging the abdominals can lead to bracing which can stifle flowing, efficient movement and even contribute to muscular tension. BCP challenges and strengthens your core stability by making you focus on your alignment and by challenging the stability of your spine.
BCP is also about Classical Pilates in that it has broken down the Classical Pilates repertoire into bite-size exercises to ensure good technique and open up Pilates to a wider audience. All exercises taught in the early stages of training are building blocks towards the full Classical Pilates repertoire. This means that those not ready to go straight into the classical repertoire can still enjoy the benefits of Pilates without injuring themselves, whilst those with more advanced Pilates experience, will be able to work towards the full repertoire using correct technique and a sound movement pattern.
BCP draws on the latest sports and medical research in order to ensure that its approach is safe and effective. It is therefore unsurprising that it has the support of physiotherapists, osteopaths, spinal surgeons and the wider health and sports community. Throughout their career, BCP teachers continue to develop their professional knowledge and competence in Pilates and related subjects by attending regular workshops and courses.
You can find out more about BCP here.
Body Control Pilates is a registered trademark used under licence.