Everyone has heard something about Pilates...
Is it easy or hard?
Is it sweat-free or does it leave you wringing wet?
Is it some kind of rehab?
Because he believed so strongly in the healing power of exercise, Joseph Pilates invented the Pilates Method for himself to overcome his own childhood weaknesses. The Pilates Method puts strength and flexibility in balance.
For example, some men can tend to overdevelop their musculature, resulting in a rigid physique, a development that goes hand in hand with muscle tears, back pain and heart disease. Some women, on the other hand, develop their flexibility at the expense of strength, rendering them open to joint pain, injuries and arthritis.
Developing strength and flexibility doesn't mean bulging muscles or contortionism. Balance of flexibility and strength means stability in mobility. Benefits of the Pilates Method may include a stimulated metabolism, improved circulation, deeper sleep, muscle toning, gain in bone density, reduced back and neck pain and relief from depression.
The actual movements are something like Yoga meets calisthenics or gymnastics.
The workouts are kept interesting with a variety of movements like rolling to self-massage, supine abdominal crunches to build power while protecting the back, and balance control movements to develop stability. These can be done on the mat or on a variety of apparatus.
Beginning sessions acquaint clients with their powerhouse (the core muscles) using fairly simple movements. In subsequent sessions, the challenge is to learn to keep the core muscles engaged while doing a variety of movements that become more complicated as the client becomes stronger and more supple. The result is a body that supports and moves from the abdominals and gluteals, like a dancer or a gymnast. The workouts gradually increase in intensity each week until the pace provides a good impact-free aerobic workout that leaves you feeling energised, powerful and graceful.