What is Pilates?
Pilates is a whole body exercise programme suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Pilates mobilises all joints, targeting the deep postural muscles, building strength from the inside out and improving flexibility. It increases awareness of the way in which you hold yourself and use your body, therefore helping to improve alignment and posture. The focus on correct alignment in exercise start positions and during movement improves muscle recruitment patterns, which encourages sound movement patterns in our everyday activities. Core strength and stamina is built safely through different level exercises.
Some of the many benefits of Pilates:
- Increases core strength
- Strengthens the deep postural muscles, helping to support your spine and joints
- Improves alignment, posture and balance
- Encourages correct muscle recruitment and sound movement patterns in everyday life
- Improves joint mobility and flexibility
- Creates longer, leaner muscles – tones and shapes your body
- Improves pelvic floor muscle function
- Reduces back pain associated with poor posture and weak core muscles
- Aids relaxation and increases your general well-being
Where did Pilates come from?
Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates (1880-1967). Born in Dusseldorf, a frail and sickly child who suffered from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. Determined to overcome his fragility and improve his health he experimented with different disciplines and forms of exercise, taking elements of gymnastics, self defence, dance, circus training, and yoga amongst others to develop a method of exercise that he felt had the perfect balance of strength and flexibility. He named this method as ‘Contrology’, it was only after he died that it became known as ‘Pilates’.
Having successfully overcome his own health issues and achieving an impressively strong and flexible body he went on to teach the techniques to others with amazing success.