Benefits of Pilates

A refreshing mind-body workout

Pilates gets your mind in tune with your body. By emphasizing proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and complete concentration on smooth, flowing movement, you become acutely aware of how your body feels, where it is in space, and how to control its movement. The quality of movement is valued over quantity of repetitions. Proper breathing is essential, and helps you execute movements with maximum power and efficiency. Last but not least, learning to breathe properly can reduce stress.

Build strength without “bulking up” – gain long, lean muscles and flexibility

Conventional workouts tend to build short, bulky muscles – the type most prone to injury. Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured.

Develop a strong core – flat abdominals and a strong back

Building on the principles of Joseph Pilates, Pilates exercises develop a strong “core,” or center of the body. The core consists of the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. Control of the core is achieved by integrating the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle.

Create an evenly conditioned body and prevent sports injuries

In conventional workouts, weak muscles tend to get weaker and strong muscles tend to get stronger. The result is muscular imbalance – a primary cause of injury and chronic back pain. Pilates conditions the whole body, even the ankles and feet. No muscle group is over trained or under trained. Your entire musculature is evenly balanced and conditioned, helping you enjoy daily activities and sports with greater ease and less chance of injury.

Learn efficient patterns of motion

Pilates exercises train several muscle groups at once in smooth, continuous movements. By developing proper technique, you can actually re-train your body to move in safer, more efficient patterns of motion – invaluable for injury recovery, sports performance, good posture and optimal health.

Be confident and safe

No other exercise system is so gentle to your body while giving it a challenging workout. Many of the exercises are performed in reclining or sitting positions, and most are low impact and partially weight bearing. Pilates is so safe, it is used in physical therapy facilities to rehabilitate injuries.

And be challenged

Pilates is also an extremely flexible exercise system. Modifications to the exercises allow for a range of difficulty ranging from beginning to advanced. Get the workout that best suits you now, and increase the intensity as your body conditioning improves.

Joseph Pilates and the History of Pilates

What’s all the fuss about? Pilates seems to have burst on the scene out of nowhere in the last 10 years. After decades as the workout of the elite, Pilates has entered the fitness mainstream. What’s the fascinating store behind how Pilates began, and why the recent “overnight success”? Here’s a brief look at its history.

How Pilates Began

Joe went to England in 1912, where he worked as a self-defense instructor for detectives at Scotland Yard. At the outbreak of World War I, Joe was interned as an “enemy alien” with other German nationals. During his internment, Joe refined his ideas and trained other internees in his system of exercise. He rigged springs to hospital beds, enabling bedridden patients to exercise against resistance, an innovation that led to his later equipment designs. An influenza epidemic struck England in 1918, killing thousands of people, but not a single one of Joe’s trainees died. This, he claimed, testified to the effectiveness of his system.

After his release, Joe returned to Germany. His exercise method gained favor in the dance community, primarily through Rudolf von Laban, who created the form of dance notation most widely used today. Hanya Holm adopted many of Joe’s exercises for her modern dance curriculum, and they are still part of the “Holm Technique.” When German officials asked Joe to teach his fitness system to the army, he decided to leave Germany for good.

The Pilates movement gains in popularity – from Europe to the U.S.

In 1926, Joe emigrated to the United States. During the voyage he met Clara, whom he later married. Joe and Clara opened a fitness studio in New York, sharing an address with the New York City Ballet.

By the early 1960s, Joe and Clara could count among their clients many New York dancers. George Balanchine studied “at Joe’s,” as he called it, and also invited Pilates to instruct his young ballerinas at the New York City Ballet.

“Pilates” was becoming popular outside of New York as well. As the New York Herald Tribune noted in 1964, “in dance classes around the United States, hundreds of young students limber up daily with an exercise they know as a pilates, without knowing that the word has a capital P, and a living, right-breathing namesake.”

Pilates Class Types & Descriptions

Tower classes: These classes use Peak Pilates Systems which functions in a very compact space. In this class you will learn muscle isolation and movement efficiency. The equipment is designed with springs to facilitate internal resistance within the body to stabilize, stretch, lengthen, and lift.
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Reformer classes: These classes use the Reformer, which is the most widely known piece of Pilates equipment and an amazingly versatile apparatus. The Reformer features unique combination of springs, pulleys, straps, and sliding carriage make it an incredibly valuable and useful piece of equipment to strengthen the powerhouse (core) and increase flexibility. Joseph Pilates created nearly 100 exercises on the Reformer, levele I, II, and III.
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Mat classes: These exercises will stir your sluggish circulation into action! In our mat classes you will perform a series of exercises (up to 34) in a specific sequence on a mat with the idea of properly exercising every muscle in your body in order to improve strength and flexibility. Our classes are leveles I, II, and III.

Combo classes: In these classes, the exercises are taught on a combination of Tower, Reformer or Mat: This class gives you the opportunity to experience each apparatus in the same hour.
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Benefits of Pilates Classes:

  • Improves posture
  • Strengthens and tones abdominals, buttocks and back muscles
  • Aids in the prevention and rehabilitation of injuries
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Maximizes strength, flexibility and control
  • Strengthens key muscles for pre and post-natal women
  • Develops muscular balance and core stability which improves overall athletic ability

Who can do Pilates?

Anyone who has a fitness goal and/or wants to benefit their current sport. Low back pain? No problem. Weight loss? No problem. Anyone with a health issue in the past as long as they have permission from their physician.

FAQ’s:

How many times per week should I do Pilates?

You can do Pilates everyday, but 2-3 times per week is sufficient. You must make a commitment to your body in order to see results.

Can I train in other aspects of fitness the same day I do Pilates?

Yes. It is great to cross-train the body to achieve your goals.

Does Pilates replace or compliment my weight training program?

It will only compliment your body. When the muscle belly is broken down with weight training, Pilates will elongate the muscle to strengthen and lengthen.