The Pilates Experience

What is Pilates?

Pronounced: puh - LAH - teez

Pilates is a method of body conditioning developed by Joseph Pilates more than 70 years ago in Germany. For many years, Pilates training remained a well-kept secret in the world of dance and performing arts. In recent years the growing interest in "Mind/Body" exercises has brought Pilates concepts to the forefront of fitness training. Many celebrities are doing Pilates and enjoying the benefits of Pilates training techniques. Pilates is also used frequently in rehabilitative settings by Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Rolfers and Orthopedists because of its effectiveness in correcting faulty movement patterns and biomechanical compensations that occur from injury. More recently Pilates is being added to the training programs of many top performing athletes to enhance their athletic performance and also increase the longevity of their careers by avoiding injuries.

Pilates comprises more than 500 exercises, performed using professional Pilates equipment emphasizing spring resistance. The central concept of PILATES WELLNESS training is strengthening the "Core" of the body - deep abdominal muscles around the spine. The PILATES EXPERIENCE training program will stabilize the shoulder and pelvic girdle, stretch and strengthen the entire body with movement initiating from "your center". The results are lean long muscles, firmer abdominals, improved posture, increase energy levels, and mind body connection. Pilates exercises are normally taught one-to-one using professional Pilates equipment such as the Reformer, Trapeze Table or Cadillac, Chair and Barrel. It can also be taught using Pilates small equipment in a mat class. Due to the wide range of exercises, Pilates is suitable for all fitness levels. Anyone can enjoy the benefits of The PILATES EXPERIENCE Program. What is special about Pilates? Traditional methods of training and developing the body tend to produce short, and bulky muscles, precisely the type of muscles prone to injury. Pilates elongates the spine, increasing the elasticity of muscles and flexibilities of the joints. This balance between strength and flexibility drastically reduces the potential for injury.

Pilates emphasizes flowing movements requiring the use of multiple muscles groups simultaneously. Controlled breathing and concentration are essential making Pilates truly a workout for the body and the mind. Pilates avoids the tendency of many exercise forms which create muscular imbalances. Pilates helps your body to regain efficient patterns of motion -- a great benefit to those recovering from injury, professional athletes, performers, or anyone seeking good posture and optimal health.

History of Joseph Pilates: Joseph Hubertus Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. As a child, he suffered from a number of physical ailments including Rickets, Asthma, and Rheumatic Fever. Pilates was determined to overcome these health problems and began a lifetime dedication to physical fitness. Beginning with bodybuilding, gymnastics and skiing, he also studied eastern methods of training such as Yoga and Zen meditations.

Pilates left Germany for England in 1912 where he continued to develop his system of exercise whilst interned during World War I. The origins of the modern day "Reformer" with its spring resistance and sliding carriage, were developed to help bedridden patients continue to exercise and develop strength while working with the springs taken from the beds.

Pilates opened his first dedicated "Pilates Studio" in New York during the 1920's. His greatest fans were drawn from the world of the performing arts. Leading dancers improved their performance and prevented injury by doing Pilates.

Pilates continued to teach and develop equipment and exercises with his beloved wife Carla until his death in 1967. He was fond of speculating that he was 50 years ahead of his times in theory and ideas. Given the popularity of Pilates training across the world, he seems to have been right.