"Is Pilates for me?"
The quick answer is "yes" - it's for everybody!
From Boxers to Dancers...
The common modern stereotype is that Pilates is for super flexible people and that it is ideally suited to women. But Joseph Pilates designed his system, originally called “Contrology”, specifically for men!
Joseph Pilates ran boxing schools in Germany between the two World Wars and his method of fitness was a part of his clients’ training.
But after he emigrated to the USA, and opened his studio in New York, dancers flocked to his studio. This was partly because of the location, but also because he was able to fix their bodies.
Dancers spend many hours a day practising and this often results in injury, which can be career ending. Dancers found that regular Pilates practice not only restored them to health after an injury, but actually prevented the injury in the first place!
Interestingly, Joe did grumble that “dancers have ruined my Method”.
... to doctors!
He also boasted that “I don’t go to the Doctor, it’s the Doctors that come to me!” – this is still true with several doctors and nursing attending our studio!
Do you want these benefits?
Then, Pilates is for you!
Pilates done properly, under the careful supervision of a properly comprehensively trained teacher, has benefits for everyone:
- Improved flexibility
- Greater strength and muscle tone
- Improved respiratory system
- Improved lymphatic circulation = improved immunity
- Lowered stress levels
- A trimmer waist and flatter stomach
- Better posture and postural awareness
- Toned buttocks, thighs and calves
- Improved foot mobility and strength
- Improved should mobility and strength
- Toned arms
- Fewer posture related headaches
- Less incidence of back pain
- Increased bone density
- Improved joint health and mobility
- Fewer injuries and faster injury recovery for dancers and athletes
- Improved recovery time for dancers and athletes
- Faster recovery after childbirth
- Preparation for pregnancy and all the picking up and carrying afterwards!
These benefits are applicable to just about everyone!
For men' health
There are many ways that Pilates can help improve men’s health. Apart from all the general health benefits that Pilates offers: better joint health, a stronger and more mobile spine, shoulders and hips, there are also specific health problems that men can suffer from which Pilates can help.
For women's Health
Within the Pilates System there is a an exercise regime that can be adapted to whatever stage of life you are at.
Not only will it help you look your best throughout your life, but it will help prevent many of the health problems associated with being a woman.
For Sedentary Workers
Sitting is the new smoking is a phrase that I’m sure you’ve heard.
Although modern workstations and standing desks help, the bottom line is that if you are still stuck to the desk for hours, often sitting rotated in just one direction problems will occurs – even if you avoid slouching – which many people can’t simply because they aren’t aware of it.
People that spend the day on their feet
This includes shop assistants, hairdressers, police officers, schoolteachers, physiotherapists, waiters and waitresses…
Do you stand for a living? the above list of people and others that remain on their feet for long periods of time often suffer from compressed spines, tired and aching legs, low back ache, varicose veins, dropped arches to mention just a few perks of the job!
People that fly a great deal
Whether you are a pilot, cabin crew or frequent flyer, everyone suffers from pressure changes, restricted movement, dehydration and the effects of jet lag.
The Medical Profession
Joe Pilates would say: “I don’t go to doctors, they come to me!”
Some people in the medical profession spend their time sitting at desks (GPs), others are on their feet all day (dentists, surgeons, scrub nurses), others have heavy lifting to do (nurses, porters).
All these three groups usually work long and unsocial hours and suffer high stress levels.
Each of these three will require a programme that is slightly different.
If your job involves manual labour, it will involve a great deal of movement. Movement is a good thing, but repetitive movements with heavy weights that are one sided and involve loaded twisting in the same direction, will definitely cause imbalances. The “big movers” will become imbalanced with each other AND with the “postural muscles”. Pilates will help you correct these imbalances and become more aware of your posture and movement.