Pilates was developed by Joseph Hubertus Pilates, born in 1883. He spent his life studying the body's healthy movement patterns, first in Germany and later in New York, USA, developing a system called Contrology.
In his beginnings, Joseph worked in a hospital at the end of World War I and originally his exercises were primarily used as rehabilitation for wounded soldiers. Joseph, with his wife, then brought his method to the United States in 1923 and spent years refining his approach for all bodies.
Pilates can be performed on the mat using props or on the equipment, called “apparatus”. Pilates equipment (reformer, cadillac/tower, barrel, stability chair) are unique as it only uses springs, levers, and your own body weight to provide resistance. Pilates mat props (bands, gliders, light hand weights, rings) mimic equipment style movements, maximizing their benefits.
Pilates movements work the whole body as every muscle gets worked from the inside out. Most of the exercises focus on small movements that require the use of important stabilizing muscles. There is a strong emphasis on starting each exercise with a controlled breath that initiates a contraction of the core muscles.
Over the years, physiotherapists have taken Joseph's exercises and expanded them into amazingly effective pre-habilitation and re-habilitation movements working the entire muscular system of the body, emphasizing the "powerhouse" muscles (abdominals, spinal erectors, low back, gluteals, hip flexors).
Evidence suggests that Pilates may be beneficial for those with the following conditions:
With consistency Pilates helps:
Every class and private session I teach includes the principles of Pilates. My barre classes incorporate functional strength movements to keep the body safe from injury while building long and lean muscles. My Strength Circuit classes use hand weights, TRX, and bands, always focusing on the fundamentals of injury prevention and balanced strength of muscles, all of which are the foundations of Pilates. I try to keep my Pilates classes fun and light hearted with a sense of adventure, providing a full body workout every time. To learn more about small group training head here. Rather private or semi-private training? Head here.