Pilates Fusions – Aqualates

Aqualates was created in America by acclaimed Pilates Professionals Tori Brown and Chimene Montivero-Cole. They trademarked the exercise in 2006 and now offer official training and certification programmes at their Pilates studio in New York under the name Aqualates International.

Though many of the exercises are similar to those practiced in a Pilates training venue, much of the Aqualates repertoire has been developed specifically for the aquatic environment. Five main principles are emphasised: proper breathing, pelvic alignment, ribcage alignment, shoulder blade stability and cervical alignment. According to Brown, “The goal of Aqualates is to train the musculoskeletal system toward perfect body symmetry, which in turn will decrease the risk of injury, improve balance, posture, strength, and overall health.”

Some may question how adding water to Pilates can mix when correct breathing is such an instrumental factor in Pilates. However, Tori Brown emphasises that Aqualates is not Pilates but Pilates “inspired” Aquatics. She uses the same principles and anatomical guidelines in all the exercises and claims the workout is comparable. Tori has also defended Aqualates against articles and bloggers who suggest that it cannot be as challenging to the core muscles due to the supportive qualities of the water. She believes it is the contrary as you need to work your spinal stabilisers 100% of the time.

So who would Aqualates be suitable for? It is said to be an excellent choice for older people who have a difficult time with transitions, as well as anyone with arthritis, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease and people with lower back problems. The aquatic environment makes this a low impact exercise ideal for people with joint problems. It also has a very low risk of injury. Alyssa Shaffer who works for US Fitness Magazine says Aqualates is good for people who are overwhelmed by a typical Pilates workout. “It’s a great abdominal workout…really especially for your lower back and core. It really is very good for stretching and strengthening”

Pilates is not traditionally classified as a weight loss exercise due to the fact that it does not provide a cardio vascular workout. However, Aqualates is a safe and sweat-free way to burn calories. When Pilates movements are done in water, you are working against an additional resistance, which aids in muscle toning and burns fat.

As with most new forms of exercises, Aqualates will probably arrive in the UK soon after establishing itself in the US. You will struggle to find a place in the UK providing official Aqualates sessions. However, as soon as I have more information I shall update my website. Thank you for reading my article!

Pilates Fusions – Aqualates by Jack Moule

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