“I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.”
– Joseph Hubertus Pilates, in 1965, age 86
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a method of exercise and physical movement designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body. With specific exercises coupled with focused breathing ,Pilates has proven itself invaluable not only as a fitness endeavor itself, but also as an important adjunct to professional sports training and physical rehabilitation of all kinds. Practiced faithfully, Pilates yields numerous benefits:
-Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep, healthy breathing is a primary focus.
-Strength and flexibility, particularly of the abdomen and back muscles. Coordination-both muscular and mental, are key components in an effective Pilates program.
-Posture, balance, and core strength are all heartily increased.
-Bone density and joint health improve, and many experience positive body awareness for the first time. Pilates teaches balance and control of the body, and that capacity spills over into other areas of one’s life.
Who is Pilates suitable for?
“If you have a stiff spine at 30 you are old; if you have a supple spine at 60 you are young”.
Pilates is suitable for all everyone. If you want to generally get fit, tone up and cure that nagging lower or upper back pain. Athletes who want to prevent injury; women who want to stay fit during pregnancy and regain fitness post pregnancy; older women who want to prevent the onslaught of osteoporosis and finally, for men, to aid in the prevention of prostate cancer.
How does it work?
“The benefits of Pilates depend solely on your performing the exercises exactly according to the instructions”
The method behind Pilates is simple and logical. It works by strengthening core postural muscles and developing body alignment. It therefore avoids the muscle and ligament damage, sometimes associated with other fitness regimes. Imagine your body like a building: the foundations need to be in correct alignment and to be strong to support the rest of the structure. Once your posture is correct and you build strong internal core muscles – your skeletal system is then supported and the risk of injury and pain is drastically reduced. The result is “Core stability”.