Every Pilates exercise works the abdominal muscles, commonly called the “power house” of the body and most Pilates exercises stretch the back side of the body. A strong power house supports the activities of the back. In order for the body to function healthily, it needs to be as balanced as possible. If the abdominal muscles are weak, the back is going to work overtime.
A strong abdomen also allows the body to maintain better posture. The power house works like the foundation of a building. If the foundation is strong, then the walls will not crumble, crack or react to stress. If the foundation is weak, walls and floors can shift, putting additional stress on the foundation. The goal of Pilates is to reduce the amount of stress in our bodies. A strong power house allows the body to move with greater ease and less discomfort.
Stretching of the back side of the body comprises a large part of a Pilates workout because Joseph Pilates saw the body as a series of connections. If one part of the body is tight, it is likely that another part of the body will also be affected. A common example is that people with lower back discomfort often have tight hamstrings. Loosening up the hamstrings often helps the back to feel better.