Pilates is a series of exercises developed by Joseph Pilates, designed to improve physical strength, flexibility,posture and balance in the body.
STOTT PILATES® is a contemporary approach to the original exercises pioneered by Joseph Pilates. Co-founders Lindsay G. Merrithew and Moira Merrithew, along with a team of physical therapists, sports medicine and fitness professionals, have spent three decades refining the STOTT PILATES method of exercise and equipment. STOTT PILATES® includes modern principals of exercise science and rehabilitation and bio mechanical research. This makes it one of the safest and most effective methods available and is often revered to as the ‘Ivy league’ of Pilates instruction.
Pilates provides a wonderful way to ease into any kind of fitness plan. Increasing your strength without building bulky muscles, giving you a longer leaner muscle look. Creating more muscle will also help to increase your metabolism and along with cardiovascular exercise help you lose weight.
Pilates benefits your emotional health. The smooth, steady movements quiet your mind and soothe your nervous system. You will improve your circulation and release tension, each workout will leave you feeling calm, balanced, and rejuvenated.
You’ll find that lengthening muscles and increasing flexibility will help pain and stiffness. Stretching helps pump vital nutrients to your muscles and tendons, which help keep them healthy and minimize your risk of injury. As circulation increases, your legs, back, neck, and shoulders loosen up, relieving aches and stiffness.
Post- natal Pilates targets those problem areas that mothers face after pregnancy, strengthening the body’s core muscles in order to create a trimmer and sleeker silhouette. By creating a “girdle” around your middle you will have greater strength in your back and stomach muscles and will even increase your arm strength to help you cope with all the bending and lifting you will be doing with your new baby.
In your 40s, balance starts to deteriorate as your muscles weaken and your nerve receptors lose sensitivity. Improving your balance and coordination is important as we age. Pilates heightens body awareness and works the small, deep muscles needed to keep your body steady when walking and your spine both supple and strong.
Every Pilates movement starts by engaging the muscles of the core, strengthening your core creates power in the midsection. This puts more oomph in your tennis swing, more speed to your run, more control in your golf swing and improving your overall athletic performance.
This results from certain muscles tightening up or shortening while others lengthen and become weak, which often occurs as a result of one’s daily activities. Pilates emphasizes muscular balance and restoring the natural curves of the spine helping to relieve back pain and enjoy better posture.
For those recovering from an injury or working with other physical challenges Pilates is a terrific way to strengthen muscles in a low-impact, safe manner. Pilates can also be practiced for preventative measures and to stay in shape after physical therapy. It can be adapted to meet the needs and goals of individuals, and thus can be a very safe way to exercise and move the body.
Private Pilates sessions are the most effective way to focus on your own unique needs. The workouts are tailored to fit you and your specific goals. If you have injuries or medical concerns it would be best to begin with individual training. If you have no prior Pilates experience some private sessions are required before joining an essential level group.
Small group Pilates classes can be an affordable way to add Pilates into your fitness routine and can also be fun, motivating and a great way to meet new people. Each session covers a full body workout and equipment classes utilize the reformer, jump board, spring boards, chair and small equipment such as stability cushions.
Pilates can be very effective as it addresses the underlying structural imbalances in the body that lead to back pain. Lack of core support, pelvic instability, muscular imbalances, poor posture and lack of body awareness can all have an effect on your back.
In Pilates mat work you are using your own body weight as resistance and doing all the work to stabilize and support your body. This can actually be more difficult especially for a beginner.
When using the equipment, pulleys and springs create resistance and can also help to support and stabilize your body. The equipment can put the body in a non-weight bearing position, taking stress and pressure off the joints while stretching and strengthening the body. The equipment gives more emphasis to strengthening the outer limbs as well as the core. It is ideal to do both mat and equipment exercises in your Pilates workout.
Pilates is a form of strength training. All of the Pilates equipment utilizes resistance training. However, the big difference between Pilates and regular strength training is that we are working towards mind-body integration and educating the body to move more efficiently. We emphasis breath, coordination, balance and control. Pilates focuses on strength, flexibility, core stabilization and balancing the muscles of the body.
Working with spring resistance enables you to work more on the eccentric contraction (lengthening action) of your muscle. Working with resistance is less aggressive to the body, less stress on the joints and is particularly good for post rehabilitation.
Pilates can be a great compliment to any other exercise regime including traditional weight training.