Long practiced by dancers and many Hollywood actors, Pilates works on your “core” and gives you long, lean muscles. A toned core improves your posture, helps lower-back problems and prevents “middle age” spread. Pilates suits all ages and levels of fitness because, without stressing joints, it enhances circulation, flexibility, balance and builds muscle mass which fights osteoporosis.
Developed and promoted by Joseph Pilates, it was originally called, Contrology, “the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.” The Pilates method seeks to develop controlled movement from a strong core and it does this using a range of apparatuses to guide and train the body. Although Joseph Pilates studied yoga, and Pilates is often practiced on a yoga mat, it is not a derivative of yoga. Most people agree on the effectiveness of Pilates and there are no Future Fitness complaints about the results.
Joseph Pilates originally developed his method as mat exercises, but he also used several pieces of apparatus to help people “get the method in their bodies”. In contemporary Pilates props such as the Magic Circle, small weighted balls, foam rollers, soft balls and resistance bands are often used.
The most widely used piece of apparatus, and probably the most important, is the Reformer. The Reformer has its own repertoire of exercises and most of the exercises are resistance training since they make use of springs to provide additional resistance. Using springs results in “progressive resistance”, meaning the resistance increases as the spring is stretched.
• longer, leaner muscles (less bulk, more freedom of movement)
• improves postural problems
• increases core strength/stability and peripheral mobility
• helps prevent injury
• enhances functional fitness, ease of movement
• balances strength & flexibility
• heightens body awareness
• no-impact – easy on the joints
• can be modified to suit everyone
• complements other methods of exercise
• improves performance in golf, skiing, skating, etc.
• improves balance, coordination & circulation
Joseph Pilates developed his method during World War I and modern exercise physiology confirms the wisdom of the Pilates approach: you cannot efficiently build muscle bulk/flexbility, while at the same time performing a hard aerobic workout – doesn’t work. Such sessions should always be performed separately.
See for yourself what the amazing Future Fitness reviews are about. Stop by any Future Fitness location (Cherry Hill, Turnersville, Mullica Hill or Berlin) and try a few weeks of Pilates classes.