30 Day Challenge What Is Pilates? 23 January 2017 Studio Pilates Pilates is a total body exercise, developed almost one hundred years ago by Joseph Pilates, to rehabilitate injured WW1 soldiers and later, for strength and conditioning of dancers. It became a favourite exercise option of the elite in New York in the 1960s, but has now become more widely available, with a huge range of styles, from classic to contemporary and a number of hybrid classes, combining Pilates with everything from yoga to boxing. The traditional method is low-impact, focusing on flexibility, muscular strength and endurance. The exercises are performed with an emphasis on precision technique; balanced postural alignment; core strength; controlled, flowing movements; and using breath to center the mind. CHOOSING A PILATES CLASS Classes can vary in intensity: they can be gentle strength training program, or dynamic and offer a challenging workout. Pilates can be undertaken privately (one-to-one), in small groups or in larger groups. Some classes are mat based, using just the body for resistance, or small piece of equipment such as a band and Pilates circle; others are in a studio with a range of Pilates equipment and machines; some are undertaken for rehabilitation purposes in a physiotherapy clinic; while other group classes are conducted in a studio with all participants using a machine called the Reformer. The Pilates Reformer is a bed-like machine using adjustable springs for multiple levels of resistance, with a sliding carriage, ropes and pulleys, allowing for a series of exercises that involve pushing, pulling or holding steady. Reformer Pilates is generally more intense and more dynamic than mat based Pilates and the repertoire of exercises available is greatly increased, providing far more variety. Reformer Pilates typically works more areas of the body than matwork, as matwork is mostly focused on the core, whereas the Reformer works the entire body, including peripheral muscles of the arms and legs. THE STUDIO PILATES WORKOUT Studio Pilates is a total-body workout, with powerful cross-training benefits, focusing on strength, mobility, endurance, body alignment and breath control. Studio Pilates delivers intense, 40 minute workouts on Pilates reformers in a small group environment that feels more like a personal training session, with our world class instructors modifying your moves for maximum gain. Each class is scientifically designed by physiotherapists, to ensure safe and considered movements sequenced in a particular way to give you the results you want, fast! Studio Pilates works your body on all planes of movement – sitting, lying and standing – so that the muscles are worked from many different directions, producing a uniform and very deep strength and tone, even without using heavy weights. More than 150 exercises in the workouts will leave your body guessing, BENEFITS OF REFORMER PILATES Top 9 benefits of reformer Pilates @ Studio Pilates BODY SCULPTING Studio Pilates radically sculpts, tones and reshapes your entire body in a very unique way. You’ll respond by becoming stronger and changing shape – ultimately giving you amazing results: long, lean muscles, increased muscle strength and tone, improved flexibility and posture, dramatically flattened abs, a firmed and lifted buttocks, toned inner thighs, and defined looking arms. CORE STRENGTH & TONE A primary focus of Studio Pilates workouts is the targeting and isolation of deep core muscles, which we refer to as the T-Zone. Overall strength and conditioning of the T-Zone not only produces a strong abdomen and obliques, but the powerful stabilising muscles in the mid back, lower back, spine, chest and glutes. A strong core is the ‘powerhouse’ of your body. It helps reduce back pain, improve posture and alignment, and helps power your sports. FLATTENED ABDOMINALS By working the deep core muscles of the T-Zone in your Studio Pilates class, you can dramatically flatten your abs more effectively than any other type of abdominal workout. GOOD POSTURE Pilates exercises require that your body is always in alignment. This is especially beneficial if you suffer from lower back pain. FLEXIBILITY Emphasising a full range of motion helps maintain, and in a lot of cases increases, mobility in the body. BALANCE Postural alignment and muscular balance heightens body awareness, improves balance and symmetry and develops strong and functional posture as well as helping avoid misalignments and injury. Pilates also helps restore mind-body balance. WEIGHT LOSS Combined with healthy eating and a couple of cardio sessions a week, Pilates can help you lose weight and keep it off WELLBEING You’ll leave a Studio Pilates class feeling strong, energised and empowered. IMPROVE ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE Reformer Pilates can be used as a sport specific cross-training tool, aiding speed, strength, endurance and recovery. Studio Pilates can dramatically enhance your athletic performance, promoting proper body mechanics, postural alignment and breath control, and producing the right muscle firing patterns for more fluid movements and better distribution of force and stability. Ready to get started? Click here to find a studio near you.