Joseph H. Pilates (1883-1967) was born in Germany. He was a sickly boy with asthma & rickets. He was determined to overcome his ailments. He developed exercises and apparatus over the course of many years that assisted him in developing a physique that was strong, powerful and moved with ease. He shared his method of exercise with injured soldiers while they were interned on the Isle of Man during World War I. During that time, the 1918 Flu epidemic inflicted and killed many in England. The interned soldiers were spared; it may be in part because Joseph Pilates exercises required the body to fully move, facilitating the movement of the lymphatic system, and consequently boosting the immune system. In 1926 Joseph Pilates immigrated to the United States, meeting his future wife Clara on the boat ride across the Atlantic Ocean. Joseph & Clara settled in New York City, setting up the first official “Pilates” studio. During his lifetime Joseph Pilates refer to his work as “The Art of Contrology”. He developed a clientele of devout ballet dancers, performers, boxers, and business men.
The Pilates method of exercise is over 500 exercises done on mat, or on various Pilates equipment such as the reformer, chair, barrels, and cadillac. Pilates is a mind-body exercise. Pilates exercise requires mental focus in order to isolate muscles and then recruit them in a specific order. Pilates exercise is a great stress buster because the mind-body focus is so strong one must let go of all other thoughts and stresses. The Pilates breath also contributes to stress release. Pilates exercise will develop core abdominal strength, shoulder girdle stability, improved posture, and a sense of overall well being.
STOTT PILATES® is a contemporary approach to the original exercise method pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates. Co-founders Moira and Lindsay G. Merrithew, along with a team of physical therapists, sports medicine and fitness professionals, have spent more than two decades refining the STOTT PILATES method of exercise and equipment. This resulted in the inclusion of modern principles of exercise science and spinal rehabilitation, making it one of the safest and effective methods available. This clear and detailed approach forms the basis for STOTT PILATES training and certification programs. It’s used by rehab and prenatal clients, athletes, celebrities and everyone in between.
Pilates like Yoga is a mind-body exercise which can yield better overall health. The emphasis of Pilates is toning & strengthening the midsection as well as balancing opposing muscles of the torso and the limbs. The Pilates breath may be different than particular types of yoga. The STOTT PILATES method of breathing involves breathing in through the nose and into the lower lobes of the lungs, filling the ribcage post laterally, and not filling the abdominal area. The exhale is elongated by blowing out through slightly pursed lips as the rib cage lowers & weaves & the pelvic floor lifts & as the abdominals flatten. In almost every Pilates exercise there is movement with each breath. There are no sustained static stretches like in Yoga. Stretches in the Pilates repertoire are similar to the 2-second Active Isolated stretching method of Aaron Mattes which facilitate fascia (muscle packets) movement and avoid the possibility of over stretching important form closure as in the ligaments that hold us together. Regular Pilates exercise over time results in the balancing of opposing muscle groups which yields a strong, neutral posture with increased flexibility & stability.
Yes, after receiving an okay from your Physician, Pilates can be an excellent form of rehabilitation after experiencing back pain. The Pilates method of exercise teaches the client to isolate the prime stabilizers of the body and to recruit them when necessary as well as proper postural alignment. Overtime strength is built and confidence regained in ones movement. Pilates exercises focus on the whole body not just the injured area. Pilates exercise re-educates the way we move and creates optimal muscle firing patterns, reducing the potential for re-injury.
- Core Strength & Stability
- Injury Prevention
- Relief from stress & back pain
- Relief from stress incontinence – Pilates exercises address the base of one’s core – the pelvic floor
- Longer, leaner muscles – a natural way to tone & slim the body
- Improved Posture by balancing opposing muscle groups
- Improved Balance & Coordination
- Increased Flexibility
- Gentle on the joints
- Improved state of mind & body by reducing stress
- Improved Digestion
- Immune system booster
- Enhanced Athletic performance
- Heightened mind-body awareness
- Increased self-confidence
- Increased Vitality & Strength
STOTT PILATES® photography © Merrithew Corporation
Pilates exercise can be a cardio workout at an advanced level but in general it is not. For a complete workout, Pilates should be combined with your favorite cardio workout such as swimming, running, hiking, or biking. CoreFocused, LLC does offer Pilates jump board workouts as well as Spinning for a cardio component to your session.
No, Pilates exercise is practiced by men & women. Pilates exercises were created by Joseph Pilates who taught his method not only to New York City Ballet Dancers but to Boxers/Prize Fighters and business men. Pilates exercise is a favorite for Professional athletes who want to enhance their skills and lengthen their athletic careers. Kobe Bryant includes Pilates exercise in his conditioning program to name just one. Pilates exercise is for almost everyone, young & old, man or woman. It is very adaptable especially with the use of the Pilates Studio apparatus.