- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
What is Pilates?
Unless you have been living somewhere out of communication from the rest of the world, you have probably heard of Pilates. Pilates is a form of exercise that is primarily concerned with core strength, flexibility, and awareness of body, mind, and spirit.
Joseph Pilates was living in England and worked as a circus performer and a boxer until he was put in an internment camp during the outbreak of WWII. He began to develop exercises to keep himself and other detainees of the camp healthy. Joseph was able to assist others who were diseased and injured with his type of training.
Using what was available to him, like bed springs and beer keg rings, he created exercise with resistance. This is what eventually became the bases for what we now refer to as the reformer, one of the pieces of equipment used in Pilates studios today.
After WWII, Joeseph returned to Germany and began teaching his program to the Military Police for physical training and self defense. He then taught in New York from 1926 to 1966. During this time many of his students became teachers of Pilates, and that is how it began to spread across the country and around the world.
Joseph Pilates defined his work as, "The comprehensive integration of body, mind, and spirit." He also refered to it as "Contrology". However you describe it, it works to strengthen the body's core, enhances flexibility, and improves the connection to your body, mind, and soul, experience.
Here are some basic exercises to begin your Pilates workout.
Single leg stretch;
Plank or front support;
Find additional instruction on the web if needed.
This is just one more tool for your exercise routine. It works and will be a good addition for your cross training program. (see cross training blog)