While Hollywood elites like Reese Witherspoon and Cameron Diaz credit Pilates for their long toned limbs, the Pilates movement was actually created for a far less glamorous demographic.
Before World War I, German-born Joseph Pilates was touring England as a circus performer and professional boxer. When the war broke out, Joseph Pilates was held as an enemy on the Isle of Man for the entirety of the war. To keep his mental and physical state strong, Pilates exercised daily. To help pass the time while in the internment camp, he taught fitness to his fellow habitants. The routines and exercises Joseph Pilates created on the Isle of Man became the foundation for the Pilates Method we know today.
The Pilates Method is strongly rooted in resistance training and the movements stem from the back and the core. Pilates has six principles: centering, control, concentration, flow, breath, and precision. Self-awareness is key to Pilates as bodies perform best when bones are in correct alignment and muscles are balanced. Pilates is an ideal exercise for strength, balance, flexibility, and focus. It is a low impact workout that is easy on the joints. It also creates lean toned muscle, not bulk. Pilates is a perfect addition to a balanced regimen of weight training and cardio.
With 500 different classic exercises, the Pilates method can be customized to fit different needs and fitness levels. The most popular variety of Pilates is done on a mat, but Pilates can also incorporate weights or special reformer machines. Pilates mat is often done in-group classes and is a great option for beginners to build a foundation before moving on to the reformer. The Pilates reformer can be an intimidating piece of equipment, but all those pulleys and springs function to provide a more challenging resistance workout.
The most important factor for a great Pilates workout of any kind is a knowledgeable instructor. The Pilates studio at The Sporting Club at The Bellevue recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. Three of the most talented Pilates instructors in Philadelphia teach at The Sporting Club’s Pilates studio. The Sporting Club offers Pilates to members and non-members in one-on-one, group, and class settings that utilize the mat, reformer, Exo Chairs, and Barrels.
For more information on the Pilates offered at The Sporting Club, visit the Centerpoint Pilates page on our website.