What is Pilates?
Pilates has become one of the fastest growing exercise practices in the world. Why?
Pronounced puh-LAH-teez, this method of body conditioning is a unique exercise system that takes the name of its creator, Joseph H. Pilates. Originally, Pilates referred to his method as the “Art of Contrology”, referencing its focus on strengthening both body and mind with the performance of controlled exercises. Unlike other physical training disciplines, these exercises are non-weight bearing and rely on body alignment and proper breathing. The result is a longer, leaner body shape, defined muscle tone, and flatter abdominals – all without causing the body to bulk up.
Featuring over 500 specifically designed exercises, Pilates focuses on developing the body uniformly and increasing students’ understanding of exercise. Moreover, the core of Pilates is quality of exercise rather than quantity. These principles support the importance Pilates places on form and body awareness. Thus, our goal is to help every body achieve the right combination of flexibility, strength, and balance in order to feel younger!
About Joseph Pilates
Nearly a century ago, Joseph H. Pilates set out to develop a system of exercise with the goal of toning muscles and improving posture. A frail child, he was determined to strengthen his body. By concentrating on muscle control, Joseph found that his method was a merger of mind and body, and named the routine the “Art of Contrology.” He later taught the stretches in hospitals during WWI, and doctors soon noticed the positive effect on patients.
In 1926, after opening the first Pilates Studio in New York City, Joseph maintained a consistent, devout following. Dancers and performers flocked to his method. Eventually, actors, models, and athletes discovered the way it could shape and strengthen their bodies, vaulting the series of exercises into the mainstream.
Benefits of Pilates
Physically, students of Pilates will experience a toned and streamlined physique, improved posture and balance, and greater endurance. As well, one of the more unique effects of Pilates is that it enhances an individuals’ understanding of his body. By utilizing specially designed equipment, each Pilates workout targets the body’s core: abdominals, hips, buttocks, and lower back. The exercises engage and strengthen the muscles and ligaments in this central area of the body called the Powerhouse. Pilates students not only work to rehabilitate injuries, but also exercise proactively to avoid future injury.
As a system that emphasizes both the physical and mental aspect of exercise, Pilates provides its followers with philosophies that lead to an overall healthier lifestyle. Pilates truly is exercise for life.
Mat vs. “Machine”
Joseph Pilates taught all of his students on specialized studio equipment such as the Reformer and the Cadillac. Although mat work is fundamental in developing and understanding Pilates, it is only a part of the training required to achieve the desired benefits of a toned Pilates body. With the assistance and resistance of springs, exercises on the machines allow students to achieve fitness goals and prepare for more advanced exercises.
Every apparatus in our Pilates studio was built to the original specifications of the equipment Joseph Pilates used in his New York studio. Each machine has numerous exercises with varying degrees of resistance designed to maximize strength and flexibility for every body. At The Center Studio®, no two workouts should ever be experienced in the same way!