The Pilates Method of exercise was developed by Joseph Pilates in the late 1920's. Pilates focuses on building your body's core strength and improving posture through a series of low repetition low impact stretching and conditioning exercises. Through Pilates, we will progressively increase the challenge of the exercises and thus develop co-ordination and strength of these muscles, increasing your flexibility, agility and control of your core.
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What is Pilates?
Pilates is an exercise form developed originally in the 1920’s by a German exercise innovator, Joseph Pilates, and has progressed using his basic principles to what it is today. It’s a unique approach to exercise that develops body awareness – improving and changing the body’s postural alignment habits with movements primarily aimed at stabilising the trunk (or core). It stretches, strengthens and balances the body, through the systematic practice of specific exercises coupled with focused breathing patterns.
Exercises are low impact, help tone and stretch all areas of the body, increasing strength and flexibility in muscles and joints, which results in greater ease of movement.
There are two categories of Pilates:
• Fitness Pilates; commonly practiced in gyms and studios, the instructions being given by personal trainers/exercise instructors.
• Clinical Pilates; evolved since the 1990s, modified by health professionals to be safer and more clinically effective. By using well-established physiotherapy concepts and research, it has given scientific validity to Pilates. The emphasis is on accuracy and specificity.
What can Pilates do for you?
Pilates can help with your general fitness, specific health conditions and your overall well-being including:
• Relief from back pain
• Improved alignment and posture
• Toned abdomen and body
• Pelvic and shoulder stability
• Improved mobility in all joints and the spine
• Effective injury prevention and post-rehabilitation
• Can help alleviate aches, stress and tension
• Maintains and can increase bone density
• Better circulation and respiratory system and enhanced immune system
• Improve athletic performance
Who does it suit?
It is a versatile exercise system that is beneficial for a variety of people, either as part of a rehabilitation programme, general conditioning or to enhance and improve performance of competitive athletes. It is a slow, safe, low impact exercise form suitable for all ages and abilities.
How do get the best results?
Success depends on understanding the basic principles and doing it right. It is the quality of movement, not quantity, and staying in true alignment that matters. Stabilising the core or centre produces the safest base to develop whole body muscular strength, balance and flexibility.