Thames Valley Pro Pilates
Pilates– Where does it come from?
Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1883. He was not a well child suffering from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. He was determined to overcome these ailments and took up gymnastics competitively and was a keen diver and skier. In 1912 he moved to England where he carried on with his passion for sport with boxing and self defence. When the war started he moved to the Isle of Man helping out with rehabilitation in the hospitals. He worked out that attaching bed springs to the beds helped his patients gain strength again when they couldn’t walk. This simple invention was later developed into the Cadillac, which many instructors use in their studios.
In the 1920s Pilates emigrated to New York and opened his own studio continuing his rehabilitation process. Over the years it became known as Pilates! Joseph died in 1967 aged 83.
The princibles of Pilates
Pilates– What is it?
Pilates is a unique, non impact, way of positioning the body in perfect alignment, lengthening the chosen muscle, then completing a combination of exercises. This enables the muscles to be worked from the core (the centre) where the power is, giving you lean strong muscles. Your body will gradually align itself and releave any areas of pain, particularly in the spine where space will appear between vertebrae. Your posture will improve, you will stand tall and the shape of your body will change giving a lovely lean healthy look. You will become aware of your body more feeling muscles you didn’t know you had. As the brain is worked hard too throughout a workout, as it has to solely concentrate on sending so many different signals to the muscles, you will sleep much better.
Pilates concentrates too on focusing on a particular muscle group and switching off others which would normally help out in an action. It also helps fire up lost muscles which have become lazy over the years. The upper back, shoulders, neck area are the most common for over loading muscles, and Pilates will teach your body to switch these off allowing lower back muscles to take some of the work load. When you get neck pain for instance this is mainly caused by tight muscles going into spasm and compressing vertebra too close together. There is then no room for you to move and then pain sets in as nerves are trapped. Pilates will reverse the concertina effect by lifting the vertebrae apart and lengthen and strengthen the muscles to hold them in place.
Your body will have more flexibility. The more length and strength the muscles have around joints the more freedom they will have.
Pilates is also good for the general well being of the body. As you lengthen the body you will therefore give more space to organs and they will function better. Your circulation will improve as there will be more oxygen going around the body. The more muscle strength means more cell renewal throughout the body, and the nervous system will be more acute. You will also have a lot more energy as a result of this. Another area I focus on too is your balance.
I always associate the body like a car. If it is used and fed properly, it will function well!
Pilates is a gentle but effective whole body workout challenging you to new physical poise and energy, plus greater mental strength.
If you are recovering from an injury, operation or accident, Pilates will help you to regain your strength, mobility and flexibility.
If you are a sportsperson, Pilates will help prevent injuries by keeping your deeply worked muscles long and flexible.
Or you might just want to keep yourself fit and strong so you can carry on with all the things you enjoy doing throughout your life.
Pilates is for everyone, whatever your age. At present I have 4 ladies and gentleman in their 80’s who join my classes 4 mornings a week. In the evenings I have many families with their teenage children joining in too.
I specialise in sports rehabilitation, pre & post surgery, pre & post natal and senior fitness.