THE PILATES METHOD
Pilates is a method of exercise and physical conditioning designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body. Pilates strengthens all the muscle groups, but particularly the deep “core muscles” which are so important to both our posture and our overall health and well being. Pilates teaches balance and control of the body, this not only brings improvements to movement in class but also other areas of your life.
The results you see from Pilates won’t just remain in the studio. You will learn to incorporate what you learn in your Pilates sessions into your daily lives – how you stand and walk, how you sit at the computer or drive a car, as well as more physical activities such as football, skiing, tennis, running, cycling, hiking, dancing or swimming.
To keep it simple… Pilates is for everyone! Everybody is welcome and we teach all levels of ability. In fact many Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Chiropractors and Doctors now recommend Pilates as one of the safest and most effective forms of exercise available.
THE BENEFITS OF PILATES
Improve core strength
Pilates exercises develop a strong “core,” or centre of the body. The core includes the deep abdominal muscles and deep back muscles By integrating the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle we can control the centre and support the body. A nice side benefit is that the core training promotes a flatter tummy.
Strengthen without the bulk
One of the ways that Pilates creates long, strong muscles is by favouring a type of muscle contraction called an eccentric contraction. Eccentric contraction is used in Pilates more than most other types of exercise. The end result is long, lean muscles that work perfectly within the context of the body as a whole.
Create better posture
Pilates re-educates you and your body to use healthy patterns that in turn develop a good posture. Using our muscles as they were designed to do enables us to move efficiently, takes pressure off compressed organs, improves circulation and reduces pain throughout the body. The fact that you create a trimmer appearance and you radiate confidence is a bonus!
Reduce anxiety and stress
Pilates has calming effects that help reduce stress. One of the secrets of Pilates is we practice each movement with such attention and concentration, the body and mind unite. Learning to breathe properly is key. As you become more and more mindful of your breath, body and muscles, Pilates becomes more like a form of meditation, helping you relax.
Flexibility for movement
Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. Pilates incorprates functional movement patterns with a system where some muscles work while others release. Joseph Pilates said “True flexibility can only be achieved when all the muscles are uniformly developed”.
Enhance sporting performance
Pilates is perfect for any sports professional or fitness fanatic. It works on creating even balance and conditions the whole body including the ankles and the feet! Many professional sports teams and athletes now use Pilates as an integral part of their training to improve performance with less chance of injury.
THE HISTORY OF PILATES
“If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old. If it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.”
Pilates is an exercise method, which was invented by Joseph Pilates. He educated himself in anatomy, bodybuilding, yoga, gymnastics and martial arts. He was a gymnast, a diver and an incredible genius of the body.
Joseph Pilates was way ahead of his time with his vision and insight. He called his discipline ‘Contrology’. Deeper studies reveal the intelligence behind the method that tones and lengthens muscles. If used well, Pilates helps restore our most natural movements and helps correct posture and imbalances allowing our bodies to function in the most efficient way. Pilates is a system that has many pieces of equipment designed but Joseph to help you feel your body with resistance as well as offering support. Reformer, ladder barrel, wunda chair, tower, cadillac and foot corrector to name but a few.
He designed a unique series of vigorous physical exercises which helped to improve posture, coordination, balance, strength and flexibility, and correct muscular imbalances along with increased breathing capacity and organ function.
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. In order to achieve happiness, it is imperative to gain mastery of your body. If at the age of 30 you are stiff and out of shape, you are old. If at 60 you are supple and strong then you are young.”