Pilates has become such a popular form of exercise, particularly in the past 10 years. So where did it all begin? The Pilates method was developed by Joseph Pilates, a German national who moved to England in 1912 where he worked as a self-defense instructor at Scotland Yard. At the outbreak of World War I, Joe was interned as an “enemy alien’’ with other German nationals. During this period of internment, he refined his ideas and trained fellow internees in his system of exercises. He rigged springs to hospital beds, enabling bed ridden patients to exercise against resistance, an innovation that led to his later equipment designs.
After the war, the “Pilates method” gained popularity particularly in the dance community. In 1926, Joe moved to New York and with his then wife Clara, opened up his own fitness studio in an address that he shared with the New York City Ballet and he quickly recruited many of the ballerinas to his training methods. Pilates began to spread around the country, particularly among the dancing community as a way of staying fit, strong and avoiding injury. Today Pilates as a form of core stability training for injury prevention, improved performance and rehabilitation has become a world wide phenomenon.
One of the most commonly used pieces of Pilates equipment is a reformer. The reformer uses springs, pulleys, bars and straps to perform a myriad of different exercises in a range of different positions. Exercises on the reformer can be performed in sitting, laying, standing and on all fours, working almost any body part through a range of different movements and resistances. The equipment was initially developed to offer movement and rehab to the injured, but today it offers those recovering from injury as well as those looking to simply improve core condition and strength a varied and dynamic workout.
Another popular piece of Pilates equipment is a combo chair, which uses a seat, handles, straps, pedals and springs. Exercises are able to be performed on the combo chair in a seated, standing, kneeling or laying position and again the strength of the resistance can be varied between exercises and for the individual needs of each client.
Pilates equipment classes provide a much greater repertoire of exercises and positions as well as a greater degree of control of the resistance or level of each exercise by altering the resistance of the springs. With these pieces of equipment, strength and control of any body part in almost any position is possible in a safe and controlled manner.
In Balance Physio and Pilates has recently added Pilates equipment classes to its timetable, which will commence in full from the March this year, in conjunction with continuing to offer mat and our Mums and bubs classes. Follow the link for the full timetable or call the practice to speak with one of our friendly team or to book in a Pilates assessment.