“I invented all these machines... it resists your movements in just the right way so those inner muscles really have to work against it. That way you can concentrate on movement. You must always do it slowly and smoothly. Then your whole body is in it."
History of Joseph Pilates
Joseph Pilates was born near Düsseldorf, Germany in 1883. As a child, Joseph suffered from several health ailments: asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever. In an effort to restore his own health, he studied anatomy books and reinforced what he learned by observing animals in the woods. Joseph studied Eastern disciplines, like yoga and martial arts, and blended them with more Western forms of physical activities, such as bodybuilding, gymnastics, boxing and recreational sports. By the age of fourteen he had sculpted his physique to such an extent that he was posing for anatomical charts.
In 1912 he moved to England where he continued to box and taught self-defense at police schools and Scotland Yard. During the First World War, Joseph was interned with other German nationals. It is there Joseph developed his technique of physical fitness further, by teaching his fellow compatriots. He attached bed springs to the hospital beds to help support the patients' limbs, leading to the development of his famous piece of equipment known as the 'Cadillac'. Much of his equipment, although slightly adapted, is still in use today in many Pilates Studios. The 1918 influenza epidemic decimated populations all over the world. However, all those who followed Joseph’s routine survived due to their good health.
After the war Joseph immigrated to New York, and on the boat met Clara, a nurse. The two married and founded a studio that taught his developing method. The studio featured much of the Apparatus designed to enhance his rehabilitation work. It soon became very popular, particularly with the dance community, as it offered a chance to improve technique or recover from injury. Originally 60% of the clientele were men. Joseph and Clara operated their exercise studio for over 40 years.
During his lifetime this method of exercise was called Contrology. It was only after his death that it became known as the Pilates Method. While Joseph is the man behind the method, it was his wife Clara that became the real teacher in the studio and allowed the method to be passed on to apprentices - the 'Pilates Elders'. She established the tradition of evolving and adapting the Pilates method to suit the individual needs of clients. Not much was spoken in the original studio (English was not Joe's first language), so Joe and Clara relied heavily on hands-on corrections to teach the method.
Joseph Pilates was a man who believed completely in his method and practiced what he prescribed to others. Even as an older man he was quite robust and vital. Today his method is taught around the world in studios, gyms, in universities and even grade schools. The name Pilates is now a household word thanks to the many film and television stars who credit Pilates for their toned-physique.
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a non-impact system of exercises which improves mental and physical well-being, increases flexibility and strengthens muscles through controlled movements. Pilates focuses primarily on strengthening deep internal muscles of the abdomen, lower back and hips often referred to as the “powerhouse”.
Benefits Of Pilates
Develop a strong core
A strong core is the foundation of your body's movements and one of the most effective ways of maintaining mobility, balance and long-term physical health.
Gain long, lean muscles and flexibility
Pilates elongates and strengthens muscles, improving elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility will help you enjoy daily activities and sports with greater ease.
Prevent and treat injury
Pilates corrects muscular imbalances, the primary cause of injury and chronic back pain.
Improve sports performance, good posture and optimal health
Develop proper technique and re-train your body to move in safer, more efficient patterns of motion.
What is Pilates?
STOTT PILATES® is an anatomically based approach to Joseph Pilates’ original exercise method. STOTT PILATES® incorporates modern exercise principles including contemporary thinking about spinal rehabilitation and performance enhancement. STOTT PILATES® is designed to restore the natural curves of the spine and re-balance muscles around the joints.
STOTT Pilates improves core strength and balances the muscles around the joints, improving the way your body functions, looks and feels. It focuses specifically on:
2. Pelvic placement
3. Rib-cage placement
4. Scapular movement
5. Head & cervical spine placement
Stott Pilates® vs Other exrcise
STOTT PILATES® a conditioning program that provides great results, especially when combined with cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, running, swimming and aerobics. It lengthens and stretches all the major muscle groups in the body in a balanced fashion. Unlike other resistance or weight training, Pilates exercises are performed in all movement planes:
• Uses spring resistance which closely resembles muscular contraction
• Places emphasis on re-balancing muscles around the joints
• Corrects over training and muscle imbalances that lead to injury
• Balances strength with flexibility (for efficient movement)
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