What does the word "core" really mean? I hear it very often as if it meant abdominal muscles only?
The word "core" has recently become very popular and it is being used in every aspect of physical fitness. Unfortunately it is often mistakenly identified just as abdominal muscles. The "core" is a broad term that encompassed a number of muscles.
Major Core Muscles - The pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae (sacrospinalis) especially the longissimus thoracis, and the diaphragm.
Minor Core Muscles - The latissimus dorsi, gluteus maximus, and trapezius
I'm a triathlete. I'm already fit. Why would I want to take on Pilates?
When you engage in an activity that is repetitive, i.e. using the same muscles over and over again (which swimming, biking and running definitely is), you are likely to develop muscular imbalance. Putting constant stress on your spine, shoulders, hips, knees, ankle joints, etc., will inevitably lead to injuries. Every Pilates exercise is designed in such a way that while strengthening one muscle group you are simultaneously stretching another. This technique develops body uniformly, returning the muscles and joints to balance. Do Pilates and you will enjoy many happy and successful years as a triathlete.
I was lifting weights yesterday. My muscles are very sore. Can I do Pilates today without hurting myself?
You are feeling DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). In our experience, Pilates is the best workout for you at this time. It is a low impact method of exercises that will offset the effect of the hard workout you had the day before. You will most likely cut the time of muscle soreness in half.