NAFTA - National Aerobics & Fitness Trainers Association

Pilates

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Certification Details

Breathing

Breathing is important in the Pilates method. In Return to Life, Pilates devotes a section of his introduction specifically to breathing "bodily house-cleaning with blood circulation".He saw considerable value in increasing the intake of oxygen and the circulation of this oxygenated blood to every part of the body. This he saw as cleansing and invigorating. Proper full inhalation and complete exhalation were key to this. He advised people to squeeze out the lungs as they would wring a wet towel dry. In Pilates exercises, the practitioner breathes out with the effort and in on the return. In order to keep the lower abdominals close to the spine; the breathing needs to be directed laterally, into the lower rib cage. Pilates breathing is described as a posterior lateral breathing, meaning that the practitioner is instructed to breathe deep into the back and sides of his or her rib cage. When practitioners exhale, they are instructed to note the engagement of their deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles and maintain this engagement as they inhale. Pilates attempts to properly coordinate this breathing practice with movement.

Concentration

Pilates demands intense focus, the way that exercises are done is more important than the exercises themselves.

Control

"Contrology" was Joseph Pilates' preferred name for his method, and it was based on the idea of muscle control.All exercises are done with control, the muscles working to lift against gravity and the resistance of the springs and thereby control the movement of the body and the apparatus.

Centering

For practitioners to control their bodies, they must have a starting place: the center. The center is the focal point of the Pilates method. Many Pilates teachers refer to the group of muscles in the center of the body—encompassing the abdomen, lower and upper back, hips, buttocks, and inner thighs—as the "powerhouse". All movement in Pilates should begin from the center and move outward to the limbs.

Flow

Pilates aims for elegant economy of movement, creating flow through the use of appropriate transitions. Once precision has been achieved, the exercises are intended to flow within and into each other in order to build strength and stamina. In other words, the Pilates technique asserts that physical energy exerted from the center should coordinate movements of the extremities.

Postural alignment

Using correct posture while doing Pilates exercises improves safety by correcting muscle imbalances and optimizing coordination.

Precision

Precision is essential to correct Pilates. The focus is on doing one precise and perfect movement, rather than many halfhearted ones. Here Pilates reflects common physical culture wisdom, gaining more from a few energetic efforts than from many listless ones. The goal is for this precision to eventually become second nature and carry over into everyday life as grace and economy of movement.

Relaxation

Correct muscle firing patterns and improved mental concentration are enhanced with relaxation.

Stamina

With increased precision, motion becomes more efficient so there is less stress to perform the exercises.


Requirements

The following eligibility requirements have been implemented for the certification exam:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must hold adult CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certification and it must be current at the time of the exam. Those submitting proof of CPR with their application will be exempt from future CPR audits, up to the expiration date of the certification. (You may sit for the exam without proof of CPR; however, you will not receive your exam results until you provide proof of current CPR certification.)
  • In order to take the Certification exams, you must attend the NAFTA workshop for the specific certification you are pursuing and have taken the practical examination component prior to receiving your on line access to the written exam.

Recertification

To get recertified in this certification you either need to earn 15 CEU's or take a new certification workshop. To apply for recertification, please log in to your account.


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