“Sometimes you meet someone that changes your life forever, they are called Pilates Instructors.” Joseph H. Pilates
That is exactly what the Pilates Method of exercises does. Pilates is the perfect combination of strengthening the body while simultaneously lengthening the muscles in the body. It is a core (glutes, hips, abdominals, and back) based practice that tones the underlying muscles of the body that typical exercises such as squats, crunches, or push-ups cannot get to.
“It is the mind that shapes the body.” Joseph H. Pilates
To understand why the Pilates Method is so encouraged, it helps to know a bit of its history. Joseph Hubertus Pilates was born in 1883 in Germany. His father was a gymnast which helped him spark a love for the body’s strength and ability. He was also a very unhealthy child suffering from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever and dedicated his entire life to improving his body’s physical strength.
After many different visits to specialized doctors, he actually cured his own severe asthma by learning the now called Pilates breathing method. He was a gymnast, body builder, circus performer, police officer trainer, professional dance trainer, and owned a wildly successful “Contrology” Pilates studio in New York City. Professional dancers and athletes all over sought his training. His story is very astounding and I encourage fitness enthusiasts to educate themselves more on this amazing man.
“Breathing is the first act of life and the last.” Joseph H. Pilates
PIlates also was the creator of the original Pilates Reformer, which has been updated tremendously with modern springs and attachments. The Reformer is a piece of equipment that strengthens and lengthens the entire body through different attachments that place the body into perfect alignment. Using the proper technique of breathing, form, and movement, the Reformer is an excellent tool to strengthen every muscle in the body from the inside out. The popularity of the results from using the Reformer has spurred new studios popping up all over worldwide! The Pilates Ring, bands, and balls are also used during certain exercises.
“One must first learn how to breathe properly. Our very lives depend on it.” Joseph H. Pilates
My personal love for Pilates developed in 2013 when I underwent a Spinal Fusion in my cervical spine, C6-7, from a major herniated disc. It had been the worst one my surgeon had ever seen caused from years of straining and teaching a variety of fitness classes without protecting my neck while screaming into a microphone. I chose to try the Reformer to help rehabilitate my spine after my surgery, and it was the best decision I have ever made. I now have 99% full range of motion in each direction. Not only that but I learned how to breathe, speak, and carry my posture to prevent further injury to my spine. I then received my Pilates certification in mat and Reformer and have been teaching my love of the method since!
“Every moment of our life can be the beginning of great things.” Joseph H. Pilates
Pilates is suitable for all levels of fitness from the very beginner to the most fit individual. Everyone will gain from using even the most basic Pilates principals in their exercise routine. Even my body mass building clients find it challenging, and my clients new to exercise are able to perform Pilates. “Correctly executed and mastered to the point of subconscious reaction, these exercises will reflect grace and balance in your routine activities.” Joseph H. Pilates
“Through the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning this unique trinity of a balanced body; mind and spirit can ever be attained. Self confidence follows.” Joseph H. Pilates
Special thanks to Lisa Crowder, Schereville Club Full-Time Certified Personal Trainer for writing this blog.
Contact your Club for more information about Pilates classes.