Joseph Pilates, was born in 1880 near Düsseldorf, Germany. As a prisoner of war, he developed a fitness programme for his fellow internees in order to maintain their health and fitness levels and used springs from beds at the end of hospital beds to support limbs and provide resistance, which forms the basis of some of the Pilates equipment we use today.
Returning to Germany, he came into contact with the world of dance, and then decided to emigrate to the United States of America. On the boat trip, he met a nursery teacher, Clara, whom he later married – and with whom he set up his first fitness studio in New York, at an address he shared with the New York City Ballet.
His studio soon began to attract the ‘elite’ of New York with leading ballet dancers coming to him because his exercises perfected and complemented their traditional exercise programme. Actors and actresses, sportspersons, the rich and the famous were all attracted to a workout that built strength without adding bulk, balancing that strength with flexibility, and achieving the perfect harmony between mind and muscle.
The Pilates method was developed over 80 years ago. Joseph did not lay down a formal training programme, with the result that, on his death, his ‘disciples’ continued teaching by adding their own variations to the core philosophy and exercises. This flexibility in approach is one of the reasons why Pilates has been so successful over this time period.
Pilates can really make a difference to your health, movement and sports performance. By emphasizing proper breathing and correct alignment, you will focus on your centre and concentrate on moving in a smooth flowing way, without tension or stress. In Pilates the quality of movement is valued over quantity of repetitions
Gain long, lean muscles and flexibility Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle function, elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured.
Create an evenly conditioned body, improve sports performance, and prevent injuries. Living in the mountains we use our legs for many of our sports………… skiing, snowboarding and trail running to name a few. This often makes us very dominant and strong in our leg muscles, which is great, but maybe slightly imbalanced. By practicing Pilates we can learn to work from the core, easing the stress on our legs by increasing activity in the whole body and then move more efficiently. This is why many of our athletes encorporate Pilates in to their training regieme. When you watch a great athlete move, it looks effortless and easy, and this is what we can help achieve with Pilates.
Pilates is very safe, which is why at mountain rehab our Physios both recommend and will often encorporate Pilates in to rehabilitation programmes.
But it’s also challenging Pilates is an extremely flexible form of exercise. Modifications to the exercises allow for a range of difficulty from beginner to advanced. Start with the class or 1:1 session which best suits you now, and increase the intensity as your practice develops, there is always something new to learn.
In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 you’ll see the difference, and in 30 you’ll have a new body