The concept of Joseph Pilates method of exercise was conceived almost a century ago. During the last couple of decades his teaching method has been snapped up by the fitness industry all around the world and dress-up in a new jacket. The basic principles as discussed before still remains the same. In the industry it is referred to as classic Pilates, meaning the trainer stays true to the original exercises and sequences as practised by Joseph and his early faithful followers. He also wrote two books on his regime which documents his teaching method. Then there is also Contemporary Pilates. This is where Pilates has evolved and new small apparatus has been added to the studios to aid with the exercises but also to keep it fresh and full of fun.
In the last 100 years a lot of research has been done on the incredible human machine and how exercises and food influence the body. Just like in most areas of life there has been an explosion of knowledge regarding fitness and fitness supplements. You walk into a drug store or food store and the size of the fitness, health and well-being section is enormous.
We take a look at some of our help-mates:
A mat on the floor allows you to do a fantastic series of exercises without Pilates machines. Mat exercises are a challenging workout in its own right due to the flow of movement, attention and focus plus the engagement of the core muscles. The mat workouts are flourishing in fitness studios due to the fact that the Pilates machines take up a lot of space and initially are an expensive layout. Mat work is popular for small or bigger groups of people. Don’t think just because you are not working out on a Reformer or taking your body for a drive on the Cadillac that your transformation won’t be wow. A regular correct and focused workout will get any “body” ready for a date with Matt Damon!
Let’s have a Ball
We are now referring to that big Ball that is stacked in the corner of the studio. They come in various colours and sizes. Some call them fitness balls, exercise balls or even Swiss balls. No such ball graced itself in Joseph’s New York studio because it is not a classic Pilates piece. But it is such a super apparatus that the Pilates industry grabbed it with both hands. As balance is one of Pilates 6 principles it is a star amongst the apparatus. The rolling nature of a ball makes it difficult to balance your body when you try to sit or lie on it. Whenever you challenge body balance you have a great opportunity to test core strength using the powerhouse and stabiliser muscles. You will find that even having just the hips or legs on the ball while the rest of the body is stable on the mat, is an increase in difficulty.
Ring a Ring O Roses!
Pilates Magic Circles have become very popular throughout the fitness world. The Pilates magic circle is a ring usually made of flexible metal or rubber. About thirteen inches in diameter with small pads on either side. This is a classic Pilates piece. The magic ring provides gentle to moderate resistance in an exercise. It is not intended to provide a big resistance challenge. One does not pick up a magic ring and try to crush it inwards as far as you can. It is an aid apparatus.
Is the Band playing?
Colourful Therabands are a latex resistance band or tube that is used for physical therapy and light strength training exercise. They are also commonly used by athletes, specifically dancers to strengthen and stretch their feet. They can be used to increase motor function and strength in a long-term exercise plan. Theraband exercises’ requires excellent posture, warming up and stretching, similar to most strength training programs. If you want to play in the band learn how to use a Theraband.
Are there Rollers in your hair?
Foam rollers come in different sizes. It is an effective way to loosen up muscles such as the IT band and shin muscles. It also releases tight knots and bands within the muscles. The Roller can give you an early alert that muscles are beginning to tighten up without you picking it up through your exercises. It is a fantastic apparatus to use prior to stretching. It also has a massage effect on your muscles when you roll your body out on it.
Bosu baffles brains
This half circle ball makes seemingly easy squats just a little more difficult. Adding that element of instability makes a workout so much harder. Like a coin it has a flip side. One side is flat and stable the other side is rounded and soft. You can jump, sit, lie or do pretty much anything on it. There are endless variations of moves that can be performed on the Bosu that will spark up and intensify your workout. No dust will ever gather on our Bosu or brain for that matter.
I have just mentioned a few extra pieces of equipment. There are barrels full of fun items that are being used in the studios. The moral of the story is that no matter how many times you visit the studio per week, or for how many years you are already working out, we will always find a new and exciting excursion to take your incredible human machine for a spin.
A Pilates Quote: “A body freed from nervous tension and over-fatigue is the ideal shelter provided by nature for housing a well-balanced mind that is always fully capable of successfully meeting all of the complex problems of modern living.”
Pilates4.Me offers Contemporary Pilates!
Keep calm and Pilates on!