What is Pilates?

Pilates is an exercise program that was designed by German Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century as a way of recovering and rehabilitating from his own physical ailments and injuries of soldiers during the first world war. When he moved to the United States after the war his exercise and movement methods were initially embraced by the dance community and has since become popular within the general population and athletes.

             Clinical Pilates exercise programs are tailored for each client by a Physiotherapist. Exercises use breathing, “centring”, precision, flowing movement, control and concentration to achieve improved posture, body alignment and injury rehabilitation.

Who can benefit from Pilates?    

 Traditionally Pilates has been very successful for rehabilitating people with lower back pain. This is true but Pilates is also very effective in treating:

*   Athletes – injury prevention, injury rehabilitation and improve performance. Improving the core muscles of the body has shown to reduce injuries in athletes such as hamstring tears and also to make athletes more efficient, thereby enabling them to become faster, stronger and have more endurance.

 *   Pregnant ladies – Pilates exercises can be tailored for neck, back, pelvic and sacroiliac joint pain and maintain abdominal and pelvic floor muscle strength through out pregnancy.

 *   Postpartum ladies – Get back into shape!! Revive abdominal and pelvic floor  muscles and support the spine/improve posture whilst caring for a baby.

*   Seniors – tailored exercise program incorporating balance, strength and mobility.

*   Pre and Post surgery e.g; ACL, Shoulder, Total joint replacement… Alignment is crucial to rehabilitation and incorporating core muscles is an important component to all successive rehab programs. Pilates can also be used pre surgery to ensure that the rest of the body and the injured joint can be as strong and mobile as possible which has shown in studies to facilitate a quicker rehabilitation post surgery.

 *   Neck  and back injuries – All parts of the spine can be strengthened and stabilised using specific exercises that emphasise correct alignment, neutral spine and proper movement. Without recruiting the deep stabilising muscles the spine is vulnerable to re-injury and pain.

*   Osteoporosis – Pilates can provide a safe exercise program for people with osteoporosis. Specific exercises need to be given to ensure healthy bones, balance, strength and overall fitness.

*   Anyone with Office jobs!! – Whoever “drives a desk” all day will understand the  need to unravel from being “chair shaped”! We need to activate the muscles that counter the effect of gravity and sitting all day. General exercise is vital to improve fitness and stamina and as we age the muscles that hold us upright naturally weaken making it harder for us to maintain an upright posture.

            The equipment used in Pilates offered by Club 360 include the Reformer, Trapeze Table/Cadillac, Chair, Arc, Bosu Ball and various small accessories. Therefore with the use of the equipment which is spring resistance based, many  exercises can be tailored and performed in different body positions according to the ability and need of the client.

Author: Janet Walters

Club 360 Pilates instructor and physiotherapist, Janet Walters, offers offsite Pilates. For more details please contact us at info@club360.jp