Q. What is pilates?
A. Pilates is a body and mind conditioning system that provides opportunities to increase spine health, improve joint tracking and correct inefficient movement patterns. Weak body parts are strengthened and tight parts are gently mobilized, enabling the body to return to ideal alignment.
Q. Who developed the pilates method?
A. The founder was the German-born Joseph Pilates (1883-1967). He was a professional boxer and self-defence instructor at police schools. In 1926 Joseph immigrated to New York City and opened his own training studio on Eighth Avenue. After his death his work was continued and further developed by his wife Clara Pilates and ex-students who started opening their own studios all over the United States. The second generation of pilates students brought the method to Europe and the rest of the world. More recently practitioners like physiotherapists and osteopaths started bringing their background and knowledge into the work.
Q. What do I need to get started?
A. A mat and a towel. Pilates is done barefoot or in socks, so you can leave your sneakers at home. Small props like the Magic Circle, Foam Roller, Thera-Band and Balls are provided by me. In case you want to purchase these props yourself, I'm happy to advise you about where to go and what to pay attention to.
Q. I'm a guy. What are the benefits of doing pilates for men?
A. Men's training typically focuses on hypertrophy and superficial muscle groups. While this may lead to a fitter appearance, it will be of little help when you're grappling with issues like poor posture, back pain and neck problems. Pilates is a type of functional training that teaches the different muscle groups to co-operate better. It improves your body's alignment and targets smaller muscles that are important to keep your spine in a healthy condition. Furthermore pilates improves proprioception. You will benefit from this in any sports activity you wish to engage in.
Because the male body tends to loose flexibility faster than the female body, pilates is a great option for men who'd like to maintain or improve their flexibility.
No worries if you're not that flexible yet. When I see you struggle with a particular exercise because of lack of flexibility, I'll modify the exercise in a way that's still effective but also realistic for your body. As time goes by, you will see you'll be able to execute more and more exercises in their original form.
Q. I have back problems. Can I still do pilates?
A. In case of physical issues it's always advisable to consult a physician before engaging in a any new sports activity. However, chances are he or she will recommend doing pilates to you! Pilates improves the co-operation of postural muscles. A dysfunction here is often the cause of back pain. Moreover pilates is the best way to cultivate good posture. For a lot of people this is a major factor in preventing or reducing back issues.
To set up the best possible training schedule for you, I'm happy to get in touch with your physician to learn more about your specific medical situation.