Category Archives: Pilates

What in the World is Pilates?

A Little “Pilates” History

The following excerpt is taken from www.josephpilates.com  “In 1880 near Dusseldorf Germany, Joseph Pilates was  born . As a child, Joseph suffered from several health ailments: asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever.  In an effort to restore his own health, he studied anatomy books and reinforced what he learned by observing animals in the woods.  When Britain entered World War I, his German citizenship led to his imprisonment along with other German nationals as “enemy aliens.” Despite the unfortunate circumstances, this was a fundamental time in the development of his method.  During his imprisonment Joseph taught his exercises to fellow compatriots, and later he acted as a nurse-physiotherapist of sorts. Here he developed the first concepts for his innovative machines by disassembling the camp bunk beds and using the springs as a form of resistance to rehabilitate the injured and bed-ridden.  One of the greatest examples of the immense benefits of practicing Joseph Pilates’ holistic approach to health is the outbreak of a terrible influenza in 1918. The 1918 influenza epidemic decimated populations all over the world; areas of close co-habitations of people, such as internment camps, were especially hard hit. However, all those who followed Joseph’s routine survived due to their good health.”

In Short –Does it Work?

 An eight-week study published in Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport studied the effectiveness of a Pilates exercise program on healthy adults (average age of 25) who had enrolled in a Pilates course for the first time (26 females, 2 males). After an eight week course, the Pilates exercise group showed a significant improvement in decreased body fat, improved flexibility for hamstring and low back muscle groups, and improved abdominal muscle endurance.

STOTT Pilates

There are different Pilates certifications..this in mine: I’m certified by STOTT Pilates for this reason: STOTT PILATES incorporates modern exercise principles and the original Pilates method and are designed to restore the natural curves of the spine and re-balance the muscles around the joints.  STOTT makes it applicable to sport-specific training and everyday life.

Pilates makes everything …better!

Why Pilates

*Pilates focuses on the flexion, extension and rotation of the spine. It also  strengthens all of those deep ab muscles and muscles around the spine

*Reduces joint & lower back stress

*Balances flexibility with strength Leads to better muscular symmetry

*Heightens body awareness

*Non-impact, easy on the joints

*Can be customized to suit everyone from rehab patients to elite athletes

*Complements other forms of exercise

*Improves sports performance (golf, skiing, skating, dancing, equestrian etc.)

*Improves balance, coordination & circulation.

Beginner- Two Pilates Exercises

 The Roll-up-  Lie back with legs straight and arms extended above head next to ears.

Bring arms forward, tilt chin down, and slowly curl upper body up, reaching hands to toes.

Half Roll Back- Begin seated on the Mat, tall and lengthened, ensuring your feet are hip-distance apart. Curve your spine and roll back as far as possible while keeping feet on the mat

Start with 10 reps of each of these.  Usually this is just the beginning for the entire repertoire.  More to come!

 CAUTION: Please note the following important cautions before attempting STOTT PILATES exercises. Consult with your doctor before beginning this or any other exercise program, as not all exercises are suitable for everyone. This or any other exercise program may result in injury. If you experience pain or discomfort during exercise, stop immediately and consult your doctor. To reduce risk of injury, never force or strain during exercise.