When I tell people I teach Pilates the reply is normally “Oh! That is the exercise program done with a ball.”
Working with a ball is only a part of what Pilates is all about. In fact, it is only incorporated into a workout once a client has a reasonable understanding of how to apply “The Principle of Pilates” to various exercises and has been able to achieve stability through the torso on a stable surface. The phenomenal results of a Pilates workout are only achieved by understanding these principles and how to implement them correctly, integrating mat work with equipment such as the Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, and Barrels. Smaller equipment such as foam rollers, flex bands, fitness circles is but a few examples that can be used to modify exercises or to add challenge.
An individual will start by learning the principles of Pilates and how to apply them to the various movements. As these principles are mastered one will work through an extensive repertoire of exercises depending on one’s ability and fitness level. Workouts are designed to meet each individual’s needs. Pilates is, therefore, a suitable exercise program for anyone from young adults to seniors, ballet dancers to sportspeople. It is also ideal for those recovering from injuries or people with physical disabilities.
Through eccentric and concentric control Pilates develops endurance and strength, sculpting and toning the body without building bulk.
It is a zero-impact form of exercise that is always a pleasure to look forward to. Pilates can invigorate the start of your day or refresh, revive and de-stress you at the end of your day. Pilates stimulates the mind for mental well-being as well as conditioning and toning your body.
The History of Pilates
One would believe that Pilates is a new exercise phenomenon with the increase in media attention and celebrity interest. However, it was actually created in the 1920s by German-born Joseph Pilates (1880-1967), who suffered as a child from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever; making him weaker than others of his age. He was determined to counter-balance his weaknesses and so developed a series of over 500 exercises to strengthen his core muscles; which helped him become an accomplished skier, diver, gymnast and boxer.
It was not only on himself that Joseph Pilates practiced his theories. Having moved to England in his thirties he was placed in an internment camp during the First World War where he worked as a nurse. It was here that he began to develop equipment by attaching springs to beds so that those immobile patients could still aid their recovery by doing light resistance work.
Pilates, the pioneer, immigrated to America and opened his first Pilates studio in 1926; complete with modified versions of the equipment he designed during the war (and which are still used today). He died at the age of 87 in New York City.
Why the Stott Pilates Method?
The reason the “Stott Pilates™” is ranked above any other method is that they have adopted a contemporary approach by building on the essence and principles of the late Joseph H. Pilates through the study of the biomechanics of movement. The aim is optimal musculoskeletal performance – strength, flexibility, and endurance – without risking injury or building bulk. With a focus on core stability, including pelvic and shoulder girdle stabilization, neutral alignment, and patterned breathing, Stott Pilates also helps restore the natural curves of the spine, relieves tension, and enhances self-confidence.
The result: a balanced and aligned body that looks fit, feels revitalized, and moves with ease. Stott Pilates™ has also developed essential (beginners), intermediate and advanced levels which assist virtually anyone to ease into the Pilates program.
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