What's Different About the Pilates® Method?
Joseph Pilates believed that corrective exercise should begin with education and total body conditioning. He designed over 500 specific exercises to develop the body uniformly. Control and proper form are basic principles in Pilates. Against the practice of repetitive exercise Joseph preferred fewer, more precise motions. This mind-body technique is a more efficient way of exercising. As your mind is directed through your body's movement, a new awareness is experienced. Pilates sessions are tailored to the needs of each student. Sessions are usually one-to-one with a trainer, or in closely supervised small groups.
Who Should Use Pilates®?
Pilates is accessible to a wide range of people, young and old, athletic or not, sedentary or in physical therapy. It is for individuals who want to improve their strength and flexibilty. Pilates aids in preventing muscle and soft tissue injury. Not surprisingly, the first people to use the Pilates Method were dancers, such as Martha Graham and George Batanchine. Ultimately discovered by physical therapists and orthopedists, Pilates was found to be an exceptionally beneficial adjunct in the rehabilitation of patients. A rise in the demand from a health conscious public for a safe and effective exercise system has shown a growing number of people who embrace the Pilates Method as their primary exercise regimen. Currently Pilates is used by dance companies throughout the world, as well as by Olympic and professional athletes, sports teams and private fitness centers.
Who Was Joseph Pilates?
As a child, Joseph Pilates sought ways to develop his frail body, which created his life long interest in body conditioning and physical culture. A native of Germany, he grew to become an accomplished skier, diver, gymnast and boxer. While he was interned in England during World War I, because of his German citizenship, Joseph became a nurse. His experiments in resistance, using springs attached to a hospital bed, strengthened immoblized patients. Joseph's revolutionary discoveries led him to design the Mat exercises and the Universal Reformer, which became the foundation of the Pilates Method. In 1926, Joseph came to the U.S. with his exercise system, which has grown in sophistication and popularity until today.
A Spectrum of Benefits
Everyday activities such as sitting, standing, running, playing sports, dancing, or working out, strengthen some muscle groups, but may leave others weaker and underdeveloped. The resulting muscular imbalance may never be noticed as such, but it can eventually become a source of fatigue, discomfort, pain and even immobility. The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning facilitates muscular harmony and balance. People who consistently use Pilates find that without conscious effort they improve posture, move more gracefully, slepp better, and develop firmer, sleeker and more powerful muscles. Joseph Pilates spent more than 50 years refining an exercise system that uses memory and musculature to create mental and physical harmony. His goals continue to be achieved as each Pilates student demonstrates the full measure of his or her capabilities.