Pilates is a mind-body exercise technique which focuses on strengthening the core postural muscles of the spine pelvis and limbs, increasing mobility and range of movement along with improving posture and coordination.
The main principle behind Pilates is that of ‘stabilising before mobilising.’ This refers to strengthening the stabilising muscles, for example the deep abdominal muscles, which support the organs of the abdominal cavity as well as the lower spine, whilst increasing mobility and strength in the arms and legs.
The History of Pilates
Josef Pilates was born in 1880 in Germany, he was a frail child and suffered from acute asthma, rickets and related postural problems. He was determined to overcome his weaknesses and from an early age began exercising to overcome his physical difficulties. He experimented with a number of different sports including martial ats, gymnastics and dance and usimg the most effective parts from each sport then developed and designed his own exercises that contained the perfect balance between strength and flexilbility
He moved to New York in the 1920s and he worked alongside the New York ballet and designed programmes for the dancers based on correct spinal alignment and strengthening the deep core muscles.
Pilates has developed greatly since Josef Pilates set exercises. The exercises are now modified to suit different abilities and can be used with a number of equipment to make the exercises more challenging and fun to do.The equipment has also been modified over the years and is now designed with experts from the physiotherapy and sports rehabilitation worlds.
More recently Pilates has been adapted by the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute (APPI) to provide a specific program for athletes of all levels to increase their speed of rehabilitation. APPI Pilates sessions and classes are suitable for all ages and fitness levels and is particularly recommended for those suffering from chronic back or neck pain, sports injuries, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, womens’ health problems, stress-related illness or ME. Scientific research is beginning to provide evidence of its effectiveness on reducing pain, improving physical function, movement and well being