What is Pilates?
Pilates was created in the 1920’s by the physical trainer Joseph Pilates for the purpose of rehabilitation.
He was born in Germany and had a number of health issues as a child such as asthma, rheumatic fever and rickets. His early experience of ill-health shaped his attitude towards the importance of physical fitness throughout his life. He became an all-round athlete and at the age of 86 he was still very active and practised Pilates on a daily basis. He called this training method “contrology” meaning the science of control, and in its development was influenced by Tai Chi, Martial Arts, Dance, Yoga and Zen etc.
Pilates is a physical training method based on the body in its most natural state of motion. It is essentially a series of slow controlled movements using the weight of the body as a resistance. These movements were designed to realign posture and to naturally condition the body to fight illness and resist disease. The Pilates method is a unique approach to exercise that develops body awareness, strengthens the body from its “centre” to provide stability to the spine and increases flexibility and mobility in the joints.
Benefits of Pilates
Pilates is a mind-body exercising technique that emphasizes the importance of beginning a movement from a central core of stability, the low back/pelvic area.
From this central core, Pilates works by adjusting the intensity of each exercise through various arm and leg movements, coupled with appropriate breathing control. The exercises consist of strengthening, mobility and stretching movements.
Injuries, such as back pain, can be caused by muscle imbalances in the body and by repetitive patterns of movement. If a person has a weakness in an area, they may overcompensate or overdevelop another area in order to achieve a certain movement.
By concentrating on precision of movement, awareness of breath control and a continuing flowing movement, the exerciser will be able to alter abnormal patterns of movement and achieve a carry over into daily function and life.
Physiotherapy and Pilates focuses on the importance of a balanced aligned body and is devoted to correcting muscle imbalances in the back and limbs, progressing towards a more functional lifestyle
Benefits include improved core strength and stability, improved posture and balance, improved flexibility and longer leaner muscles.