What is Pilates?


Pilates Love your Core

“Pilates develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit.” -Joseph Pilates

Pilates is a method of exercise which aims to encourage the use of the mind to develop core postural muscle strength, stability and flexibility resulting in more efficient and graceful movement. This merging was originally developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900’s and was originally called Contrology. It is an exercise system that keeps the body balanced and is essential to provide support for the spine. “The Pilates Principles” assist in conditioning the entire body by focusing on: proper alignment, centering, concentration, control, precision, breathing, and flowing movement. In essence, Pilates teaches awareness of spinal alignment with deep core muscle recruitment which is essential for core and prevention of back pain, the rehabilitation of many musculoskeletal problems and improvement of athletic and physical performance.

The deep core muscles, which are the foundation of the Pilates exercise, are the deep internal muscles or the abdomen, back and pelvic floor. Pilates trains the core muscles to become strong and work correctly with the more superficial muscles of the body resulting in efficient, painless movement. With increased strength, stability in the entire body is achieved, which assists with a reduction of pain with movement and an improvement of physical performance. The Pilates method focuses on quality over quantity. Pilates exercises do not include a lot of repetitions for each move but alternatively each exercise is executed with precision. Pilates appeals to a wide range of people from all walks of life and fitness levels including athletes, dancers, seniors, pregnant women, new Mom’s and people at various stages of rehabilitation from injury. People that practice Pilates regularly report that the main benefits of Pilates are becoming stronger, leaner and more graceful and efficient with their movement.

Pilates exercises are performed on either a mat on the floor or on exercise equipment developed by Joseph Pilates. The Pilates matwork series utilizes the padded Pilates mat with the students own body as resistance in training to build strength and flexibility. The Pilates equipment generally uses pulleys and springs provide assistance to achieve a certain movement or progressive resistance to strengthen the core and superficial supporting muscles. The equipment works faster and better to change the body as the springs provide support and resistance that allow an individual to enhance their core connection in a way that is difficult to do on the mat alone. Because of this, the equipment allows you to shape, tone, lengthen and align.

Core Strength

Core strength is the foundation of Pilates exercise. The core muscles are the deep, internal muscles of the abdomen and back. When the core muscles are strong and doing their job, as they are trained to do in Pilates, they work in tandem with the more superficial muscles of the trunk to support the spine and movement. As you develop your core strength you develop stability throughout your entire torso. This is one of the keys to how Pilates helps people overcome back pain. As the trunk is properly stabilized, pressure on the back is relieved and the body is able to move freely and efficiently.

History

Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates during WWI in hopes to improve rehabilitation efforts for injured veterans. Pilates developed a collection of precise movements that would emphasize the control and form necessary to aid injured soldiers as they worked to regain their health by strengthening, stretching and stabilizing key muscle groups.
“Contrology develops the body uniformly... Contrology develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit.” -Joseph Pilates
(Contrology is what Joseph Pilates originally called Pilates)