Pilates is an exercise system developed in the early 20th century
by the German gymnast, boxer and circus performer Joseph Pilates.
Initially used to rehab bedridden patients during the First
World War in England, hence the equipment’s likeness to
a hospital bed- springs and pulleys and over-head poles, Mr.
Pilates refined his system in New York City to where he emigrated
According to Pilates his method, which he himself called ‘Contrology’
is “…complete coordination of body, mind and spirit…develops
the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical
vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit.”
The purpose of this system was for students to relearn (‘reform’)
they way they use the muscles of their body to achieve more
efficiency of movement:
“…the ultimate goals is the attainment and maintenance
of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable
of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing many and
varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure…”
( Joseph Pilates, Contrology, 1945).
Pilates caught on quickly with dancers and other physical artists
as a counter balance to one-sided training in their discipline,
and to achieve superior control of their bodies and help them
excel at art.
In the last few years Pilates has had a kind of renaissance
in the fitness industry, with more and more trainers incorporating
aspects of it into their routine, and celebrity practitioners
such as Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Anniston commenting
on the benefits of this training in their own fitness routines.
Benefits of Pilates Training for you:
The main goal of Pilates training is to rebalance the body.
To achieve a balanced body we put special emphasis on strengthening
the muscles of the core, which are: the abdominals, not only
the ‘six-pack-muscles’ of the rectus abdominis,
but also the internal and external obliques, the pelvic floor
and the transversus abdominis; the muscles of the lower back,
hips and glutes- together they are called the “powerhouse”.
In Pilates the focus of the training is on the individual’s
development: do you spend at lot of time hunched over a computer,
do you carry heavy loads on one side of their bodies (that’s
you, new Moms!), do you have constant neck and shoulder pain,
or a slipped disc in your spine, the result form an old injury,
do you simply have a hard time ‘getting going’ in
the morning? Then Pilates is for you!
The exercises are tailored to assist in building strength in
your weaker areas, and ‘reform’ the way you achieve
Yes, frequently pain is the result of underdeveloped muscles
being lazy, or unaware of their function, and other muscles
taking over to do more than their share- leading to an imbalance,
repetitive use injuries and painful tightness and inflexibility.
By relearning movement and generally becoming more aware of
and in touch with this incredible machine called your body,
you will experience great changes in your energy level, flexibility,
balance, strength and coordination in a very short amount of
If that seems heady and complicated- don’t worry, it is
actually a lot of fun! And…you end up with a lean, long
and ripped physique- yes, flat abs, lifted behind and cut shoulders
and arms- so you can look as good as you feel;)