The Joseph Pilates exercise system emphasizes concentration and control with the integration of flexibility, strength, precision, breath, flow of movement, and awareness between the body and the mind. Originally called "Contrology," his method involves the use of specific exercises performed on their own and in conjunction with specially designed apparatus and equipment. Every individual receives a program within the system of exercises that is tailored to his or her needs and fitness level. It is one of the only exercise systems that work from the inside out and strengthens what Pilates called the "powerhouse." The powerhouse is the deepest muscles in the abdomen, inner thighs, buttocks and lower back.
Joseph Pilates' original method, practiced as he developed it, is a system of stretching and strengthening exercises that has provided these unwavering positive results.
Strengthens and tones all muscles.
Provides flexibility and balance.
Increases circulation and endurance.
Creates a more streamlined shape.
Unites the body and mind.
Develops muscles uniformly.
Heals damaged tissue.
Allows everyone to exercise regardless of age or fitness level.
The Joseph Pilates system uses six principles to achieve maximum results while you educate and develop your mind and body.
All work is controlled through the center, or "powerhouse." All exercises are done with proper alignment to maintain balance in the body.
Exercises are performed with focused concentration, paying attention to how the individual executes the exercises. The mind guides the body.
When performing the exercises properly, you are in control of all of the movement of your body. Habit does not guide the execution of the exercises.
All exercises are performed with a clear structure and precise form. The work emphasizes quality, not quantity in order to reach the full benefit of each exercise.
The full workout is designed for one exercise to flow naturally into the next. There is a minimum of movement between exercises to create a maximum flow.
Who is Pilates for?
Pilates is for everyone! From teenagers to seniors, from post-surgery and rehabilitative clients to professional athletes and dancers. Everyone can benefit from Pilates. The special equipment is highly adaptable and the unique exercises can be modified to match the requirements of every individual.
Do I need experience?
No experience is required. The only way to know Pilates is by doing Pilates. All you need is the will to strengthen and balance your body and the desire to improve your performance and work towards tension-free, pain-free living!
Can I do Pilates while working with a physiotherapist, osteopath etc.?
Yes! Pilates is ideal to complement any kind of body-therapy and is recommended by many practitioners and therapists today. Your therapist can help bring your body back into balance and through Pilates you learn how to maintain that balance, build on it and avoid future imbalances–postural and muscular.
Can I do Pilates if I have a bad back, bad knee?
Yes. Exercising and strengthening your body is a key factor in rehabilitation. Pilates is a safe, low impact and highly effective method of exercise and is designed to isolate body parts and encourage positive movement patterns. This allows us to address any injured or vulnerable areas in a safe and controlled way while addressing the rest of your body in the appropriate way to encourage quicker recovery.
What is the optimal number of Pilates classes?
You will achieve optimal results with two sessions per week (or more). The body learns best with a regular and gradually paced program creating an imprint which integrates the physical workout with the mental challenge. Once a week is not ineffective but the progress is slower…
How long before I see results?
Some people notice changes within a few pilates classes. Most people notice improvement of strength and flexibility within a few weeks. The real profit though, is the combination of short term improvement with enduring changes to your fitness and well-being in the long run. That is what makes people “Pilates devotees” for years and decades.
You should remember though that the process is individual and depends on whether you are healthy or injured, whether you are used to exercising your body or not, and on the number of classes you take each week.
Does Pilates tone and shape the body?
Definitely yes! In Pilates we firm and strengthen the body while keeping it stretched and supple. This is actually the prime physical result of practicing the method. It means a trimmer waist, flatter belly and better posture. It means a strong, shaped and healthy body!
What are the benefits of the specialized Pilates equipment?
Pilates equipment, unlike other fitness equipment, is designed to challenge stabilization of one segment while moving other parts of the body. No free flowing movement in life can be achieved without good stabilization. It is the combination and the balance between these that makes movement efficient and non-stressful on the joints. This is what makes the method so functional.
Additionally, the resistance is produced by springs instead of weights. The springs provide gradual resistance as the muscles contract. This gives greater resistance at the muscle’s stronger point of contraction and less at the starting point of contraction, so there is less stress on the joints, tendons and ligaments.
While doing Pilates, do I need to do other forms of exercise?
Pilates stands on its own and at the same time it is the perfect complement to cardiovascular activity, athletic training and all kinds of sports. It is up to you to determine the appropriate overall fitness program that would suit your needs, goals and abilities.