What Is Pilates?
Pilates is a mind body conditioning exercise to improve ones posture and balance through low impact exercises. These exercises strengthen the deep postural muscles of the abdomen and the spine.
Pilates was originally created by Joseph Pilates, who was born in Germany in 1880. He was a sickly child who finally recognised his talent in illness prevention and exercise promotion whilst he was interned as a prisoner during WWII in England. Joseph used his exercise ideas with much success on his fellow inmates and later moved to New York where he spent the rest of his life creating the Pilates Approach which he used primarily in the dance world. This is the approach that is widely used today. Pilates is used in both the fitness industry as well as the medical/rehabilitation fields making it suitable for men and women of all ages.
Evidence has shown Pilates to decrease back pain, improve posture, improve coordination and balance, energise individuals and improve performance in sports related activities.
Pilates has also been shown to be beneficial in lifting mood and mental health as well as increasing activities of daily living for lower functioning individuals.
A consistent programme of Pilates will reward you with a strong sense of centre as well as an improved posture. Each workout will leave you feeling toned, realigned and taller.
Individual principles needed for success in Pilates:
Concentration, centering , breathing, isolation, routine, control and flowing movement.
"Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. In order to achieve happiness, it is imperative to gain mastery of your body. If at the age of 30 you are stiff and out of shape, you are old. If at 60 you are supple and strong then you are young." Joseph Pilates
Pilates for Posture Key Elements:
Centering: Setting your core/Activating your Transversus Abdominus Muscle.
Shoulder blade placement
Neutral head and neck