Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century and was originally called Contrology. Pilates is a full body workout, using spring and body weight resistance and control placing emphasis on core control proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment.
Pilates strengthens stabiliser muscles which support the skeletal structure with emphasis on the spine which will ultimately improve posture.
“The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning develops the body uniformly, corrects posture, restores vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit.”
– Joseph Pilates
Clients are taught to use their “Powerhouse” to perform daily activities. The Powerhouse is found at the centre of the body and is made up of the muscles found in your pelvic floor to the beginning of the rib cage. Most Pilates exercises focus on the Powerhouse of the body which leads to flatter and stronger abdominal muscles. A strong Powerhouse forms the foundation for all movements.
Pilates complements other methods of exercise and it can be used as the base in any form of training or sport. The great thing about Pilates is that it can be customised to suit individual as it is very adaptable to all fitness levels and needs.
The History of Pilates
The creator of Pilates, Joseph Pilates was born in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1880. He was a sickly child, suffering from Rickets, Rheumatic Fever and Asthma and so, he dedicated his entire life to becoming stronger. Pilates studied and became proficient at bodybuilding, gymnastics, diving and skiing. He developed Pilates in the early 20th century which was the product of his lifelong observation of the human body and its natural functioning.
Benefits of Pilates
- Develops core strength.
- Increases muscle tone and definition without creating the bulk.
- Improves performance in sports (golf, skiing, skating, etc).
- Enhances flexibility and joint mobility.
- Better balance and co-ordination.
- Improves posture.
- Improves speed, agility and endurance.
- Increases explosive power.
- Injury prevention and rehabilitation of injuries.
- Relieves most back pain.
- Pre and Post Natal Exercise programmes which are great for women and their unborn child.