What is The Pilates
The Pilates Method is a combination
of muscle toning and strength exercises with an emphasis
on flexibility and relaxation. Originally invented by Joseph
H. Pilates, this mind-body method of exercise builds strong
abdominals, improves posture and coordination, and builds
long lean muscles.
The Pilates Method What's in
it for you?
By Colleen Craig
Perhaps you have heard
of a German gymnast, circus performer and exercise pioneer
called Joseph Pilates who immigrated to New York in the
late 20's, bringing his unusual views of physical exercise
and fitness with him. Ballet dancers were drawn to his work,
investigated its benefits, and began to swear by it. So
did physical therapists. Later came the glamorous converts:
the movie stars and the personal trainers. Today everywhere
from the local Y to the neighborhood church basement offer
a class in this hard-to-pronounce method of exercise that
has been in existence for over seventy-five years. But
is Pilates for you?
We have inherited different body shapes and postural tendencies
and these cannot be changed overnight. However, the Pilates
Method is highly effective in realigning the body and addressing
postural weaknesses by targeting the small postural muscles
on both sides of the spine. Strengthening the postural muscles
will help support the larger muscles and bring the spine
and the body into balance. And that's not all.
"Smooth, firm abs aren't just for looks anymore,"
writes Health Magazine writer Elizabeth B. Krieger. "Experts
are finding that a strong midsection is key to feeling centered-and
staying well." Joseph Pilates saw the abdominal
area, (under the bottom rib to the pelvis the place
that connects the abdomen with the lower back with the buttocks)
as the centre or powerhouse of the body. The stronger
the powerhouse, the more powerful and efficient the movement.
Also, when the abdominal muscles are strong they keep the
spine properly aligned and support and distribute stresses
placed on it. Most day to day activities even the
most popular sports do not strengthen this area.
The Pilates Method is the exception.