What is Pilates?
Pilates, pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates, is a mind-body exercise system designed to strengthen the weak and challenge the strong. Pilates (1880-1967) was a German expatriate who first made his mark in England during WWI when he developed a series of exercises and innovative equipment to help prisoners of war regain strength and mobility. When Joseph Pilates immigrated to New York, the local professional dance community discovered that his conditioning techniques helped prevent injury and improved strength while maintaining long, even muscle tone. This sparked a vast following of the method of exercise.
“We are only as old as our spines” Joseph Pilates
Why is Pilates one of the fastest-growing methods of exercise?
People are becoming increasingly more interested in fitness modalities that help relieve stress and are kinder to the body. They’re also much more interested in prevention of injuries with programmes that can continue even as they age. People want to stay fit and functional, and continue to look good for as long as possible. Pilates is complementary to many traditional ways of working out. It is excellent for all ages, fitness levels and goals. Its mind-body aspect is even said to be useful in preventing stress-related illnesses like heart disease.
“In ten sessions you’ll feel the difference, in twenty you’ll see the difference, and in thirty you’ll have a new body” Joseph Pilates
What is the STOTT PILATES Method?
STOTT PILATES is a contemporary approach to the original exercise method pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates. Co-founders Moira and Lindsay G. Merrithew, along with a team of physical therapists, sports medicine and fitness professionals, have spent more than two decades refining the STOTT PILATES method of exercise and equipment. This resulted in the inclusion of modern principles of exercise science, fascial fitness and spinal rehabilitation, making it one of the safest and most effective methods available. This clear and detailed approach forms the basis for STOTT PILATES training and certification programmes. It is used by rehab, post-rehab and prenatal clients, athletes, celebrities and everyone in between.
STOTT PILATES exercises help both men and women of all ages develop optimal strength, flexibility, endurance and posture, without building bulk or stressing joints. The perfect complement to cardiovascular exercise, athletic training or rehabilitation, STOTT PILATES can help tone your body, feel revitalized and move with ease.
What is the difference between STOTT PILATES and other Pilates techniques?
STOTT PILATES incorporates modern exercise principles, including contemporary thinking about spinal rehabilitation, fascial integration, muscle conditioning and athletic performance enhancement. For example, some approaches may promote a flat back, whereas STOTT PILATES exercises are designed to restore the natural curves of the spine and rebalance the muscles around the joints. There is a strong emphasis on scapular stabilization, lumbo-pelvic placement and postural alignment. The repertoire contains a full range of preparatory exercises and modifications that cater for many different body types and abilities. The STOTT PILATES method also focuses on functional fitness making it applicable to everyday life.
What are the benefits of STOTT PILATES?
* Builds core strength and stability
* Improves posture and alignment
* Increases flexibility, balance and coordination
* Improves muscular balance and strength
* Increases endurance and muscular tone
* Prevents injury and heightens body awareness
* Enhances athletic performance
* Relieves stress and back pain
I have a bad back. Will I be able to do Pilates?
Although you should always consult your physician before starting any new fitness routine, a Pilates workout is gentle and controlled with a focus on core strength and stability. It is, however, important that you work with a qualified instructor. Collette is a STOTT PILATES Certified Instructor and will ensure that you are doing the movements correctly, modify the exercises to accommodate your limitations, continually challenge you within your ability and monitor your improvements. If you commit yourself to a consistent workout schedule you will certainly see and feel results, as Collette’s own experience can testify.
Should Pilates replace my regular workout?
Pilates exercise is a musculoskeletal conditioning programme. It is ideal in combination with some kind of cardiovascular exercise (walking, running, cycling, swimming, aerobics etc), and a great complement to an athletic or weight training programme.
Is Pilates like Yoga?
In some respects Pilates is like Yoga. Both are considered mind-body methods of movement; both emphasise deep breathing and smooth, long movements that encourage the mind-body connection. The difference is that while Yoga requires moving from one static posture to the next, Pilates flows through a series of movements that are more dynamic, systematic and anatomically-based, sometimes incorporating resistance equipment. The goal with STOTT PILATES exercise is to strengthen the postural muscles while achieving optimal functional fitness.
How does STOTT PILATES differ from weight training?
- Pilates is three-dimensional (i.e. exercises can be performed using all movement planes)
- Spring resistance on the reformer more closely resembles muscular contraction
- Emphasis on concentric and eccentric contraction for injury prevention, STOTT PILATES exercise is customisable for special needs
- In Pilates exercise, emphasis is placed on rebalancing muscles around the joints
- Pilates corrects over-training and muscle imbalances that can lead to injury
- Pilates emphasises balancing strength with flexibility (for injury prevention and more efficient movement)
- STOTT PILATES exercise leads to an improvement in posture and body awareness
- Weight training and STOTT PILATES can be combined in a fitness programme and are a great complement to each other.
What kind of results can I expect from doing STOTT PILATES?
You can expect an increase in strength, flexibility, mobility, balance and body awareness, as well as a decrease in back pain or other general pains.
The STOTT PILATES method places importance on core stability and rebalancing the muscles making them work more efficiently. This helps prevent injury and improves athletic ability. ACTIVE PILATES offers private lessons for athletic conditioning.
Is it true athletes do Pilates?
Despite its precise, careful movements, Pilates is not for wimps! Athletes such as footballers, rugby players, golfers, cricket players, tennis players, swimmers and runners all benefit from Pilates instruction.