Pilates is an exercise method that revives the spirit and strengthens the body. It focuses on muscle control to better their fitness. Each exercise of this method has its own purpose but the people who do all the exercises are strengthening their center and getting fitter. It also helps learn the proper posture of the body and spine, and with this method we can correct the wrong posture.
For each exercise that should be done there are six factors:
1. Breathing – With proper breathing the exercise will be done properly and more efficiently.
2. Concentration – Throughout the duration of the exercise we should be focused on our entire body.
3. Control – During the exercise we must control every aspect of our body at every moment.
4. Center – During each exercise our center, called Powerhouse located just below the navel should always be tight and strong.
5. Liquidity – It’s the harmony that should exist in our body when we do exercises that require one to move after another.
6. Accuracy – It is acquired through hard work and patience and is the exact characteristic that must be given to each exercise.
To have a good physical condition these are essential for the body and our organism, this method will help us with the best way to acquire it. Because we owe it to our body!
History of Pilates
Father of Pilates was Joseph H. Pilates (1883 – 1967) and as was expected posthumously this type of gymnastics took her name. Its top two words are “PATIENCE” and “PERSISTENCE”. The Pilates was born in Monchengladbach Germany and he named this method “CONTROLOGY” wanting to show that it uses the mind to control the muscles. Pilates suffered from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever but devoted all his life to improving physical endurance. In 1912 he moved to England where he worked professionally as a boxing and self-defense trainer at police schools at Scotland Yard and so earned some money. During the First World War he was incarcerated in a concentration camp as a German citizen in the Isle of Man. At that time he began to develop an integrated system of physical exercises. After the study of yoga and the movements of animals, he educated inmates in the gym on these moves. It is also said that in the great pandemic of 1918 all detainees survived thanks to good physical condition. In the military hospital he helped patients with reduced mobility by attaching springs to hospital beds. These patients had a much faster recovery. After the war he returned to Germany where he worked with experts in dance and physical exercise such as Rudolf Laban and Mary Wigman. In 1925 he decided to leave Germany and go to New York where he and his wife founded the first Pilates studio. Many dancers trained in his studio as it was a good chance to recover from their injuries.
The Pilates we can learn today at gyms and physiotherapy as it is the best method to repairing injuries and obtaining the correct posture. There are two types of Pilates. There is the Classical / Authentic Pilates which is the exact same exercise list that was taught by Pilates that does not differ from lesson to lesson like Matwork. Also there is the Contemporary / Modern Pilates whose series of exercises varies from lesson to lesson, and we can use equipment like small balls (small weighted balls), roller (foam rollers) and large exercise balls. The rationale of Pilates was that “Contrology” is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit and results in:
1. Full coordination of mind, body and spirit
2. Develops the body uniformly
3. Corrects wrong postures
4. It lifts the spirit
5. Restores physical vitality
7. Natural elegance
8. Muscular endurance and strength
9. Dressage of the whole body instead of the isolation of muscle groups
The purpose of this method is for the muscles to obey our will and not that our will be dominated by the reflex actions of our muscles. Also, the Pilates method offers:
1. Postural symmetry
2. Breath control
3. Abdominal strength
4. Stabilize pelvis – spine
5. Muscle flexibility
6. Joint mobility