Pilates* is an exercise method that focuses on strengthening your deep “core” muscles, The smaller muscles that support your spine, pelvis and ribcage, through combining breath and controlled precise movements. When these ‘Powerhouses’ are strong and properly functioning, they do the job of supporting your organs and stabilizing your trunk so that the rest of your body can run, walk, cycle, swim, sit and just live more efficiently. It is all about inner body strength and efficiency. We have big muscles that move us and deep muscles that stabilize us. The big muscles can’t work efficiently if the deep ones aren’t strong.
Originally developed by Joseph Pilates, to rehabilitate himself from rickets and asthma, it is based on Grecian and Roman martial arts as well as Yoga. The method was further refined when he began developing his equipment and rehabilitating English soldiers during WW1. Then after he moved to New York City his studio was in the same building as the NYC Ballet. There he began a career of rehabilitating dancers and other performers, further refining his exercises and equipment to keep these athletes in top performing condition.
Pilates facilitates neuromuscular re-patterning. Consistent practice will allow one to change posture and move away from patterns that repeatedly cause pain. Correctly done Pilates creates efficient movement pattern- improved balance, and increased flexibility, stamina and range of motion. Eventually you should not feel like you have had a “really hard workout” but that you have done something extremely hard and it felt easy.
Pilates Can Help You
“[My] exercises produce a harmonious structure we term physical fitness reflecting itself in a coordinated and balanced tri part unity of body, mind and spirit. This in turn results in perfect posture when sitting, standing, or walking with the utilization of approximately 25% of your energy while the approximately remaining 75% in the form of surplus energy reserve is ‘on call’ to meet the needs of any possible emergency.” –Joseph H Pilates, 1945, Return to Life through Contrology
*a little know fact – Pilates originally called his exercise method ‘Contrology’ which translates to -the study of control.