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Pilates



Pilates


Joseph Pilates introduced his method of exercise to the public in the 1930's. He originally developed it to help strengthen and rehabilitate immobilized soldiers during World War 1. His main goal was to develop the body uniformly through a series of precise movements that control the body through space and stabilize it while it is working.

Pilates focuses on building a healthy, injury-free body by encouraging controlled and concentrated movement. It centers the body with breathing awareness while maintaining dynamic spiral stabilization. Pilates is a full body-conditioning program comprised of a series of approximately 500 designed movements preformed on a mat and with specific apparatus. Pilates utilizes equipment with spring resistance that simulated normal muscle physiology, integrating muscle synergies. Pilates improves strength, flexibility, balance, control and muscular symmetry. The rhythmic exercises promote elongated and toned muscles, and are noted for developing abdomen, lower back and buttocks strength, promoting a strong body core.

When exercising on the Reformer, the individual lies, sits or stands on a spring-controlled carriage and performs a series of controlled movements. It is best if these are first done under the trained eye of an instructor to ensure proper alignment and breathing. The exercises are designed to strengthen and tone the whole body, especially the abdomen and buttocks.

Mat classes are an alternative way to experience Pilates when private exercise on the apparatus is difficult to arrange. Many of the classes and videos available are a great introduction to the Pilates work. It teaches the fundamentals of breath and body stabilization that are essential to all Pilates training.

People of all ages can use Pilates for their general fitness or cross training with other sports, dance and exercise regimes to greatly improve their performance.

Pilates has been instrumental for years in the treatment and rehabilitation of a variety of injuries (post-surgical, knee, shoulder, hip and back) because the exercises can be adapted to the client's needs and are non-impact and non-weight bearing. Pilates is for anyone who desires a firm but flexible body. It is for anyone who wants to move, work and play without pain.

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