Why does Pilates not get the Credit it DESERVES?
Written by Tanya Thompson, CEO and Founder of Pilates Unlimited – the Art of Movement™ and Of-CourseOnline.com
The founder of Pilates, Joseph Herbertus Pilates was born in 1883 and died in 1967. He was a true innovator of his time who had a passion and desire to achieve health. It was due to this that he created something truly remarkable that could be shared with entire human race indefinitely. PILATES. But has PILATES been underrated and overlooked? Absolutely. I have been in the Pilates industry for 22 years which means I am no spring chicken to it either, but it also means that I have considerable experience of what change PILATES can bring to any individual.
I am always fascinated to see how so many articles in magazines are focused on bootcamp, weight training, running, yoga or group fitness. Not to mention the fact that we see the same exercises that constantly feature in all the health magazines, labelled as the ‘go to’ exercises: The Plank, Ball workouts, the same Ab workouts, the usual Stretches and don’t forget the Bridge. However, we have missed one AMAZING form of exercise that promotes longevity, a mind-body connection like no other, an amazing workout and not to mention VARIETY like nothing you have ever experienced before. I am referring to the AMAZING world of the Pilates Mat and Equipment repertoire.
If you have not seen the Reformer or Cadillac before, you could confuse them with some kind of medieval torture device. But when you have the privilege of moving on the Pilates equipment, your body movement potential awakens.
If I think about Pilates, the words that immediately come to my mind are; Life changing, magical, intense, challenging, creative, impressive, healing, powerful, gentle and oozing with pure movement bliss.
Are we not over, seeing planks, pelvic hinges on the ball and push ups in a magazine? People are in search of variety, adventure and achievable goals and something that will make them look and feel great. But let us not forget the benefits that PILATES has within the body, where the shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles yell ‘Hallelujah’ for all the good loving that they receive.
Pilates judges nobody, no matter your age, shape, size, fitness or strength. It is the most adaptable form of exercise that is currently out there that affords the client an opportunity to work in a more private setting if required. That feeling of euphoria, comfort and security combined with powerful results, lies within the root of the Pilates Repertoire. Whenever we read of healthy mind-body exercise, we read of Yoga. Don’t get me wrong, yoga is amazing, but where is PILATES? Its benefits are endless. How has the industry missed the ACE of exercise forms? PILATES!
If you were told that there was a form of exercise that enabled you to; explore and discover your body in motion, tone your muscles, increase your overall flexibility, increase full body strength and promote longevity, would you not sign up in a heartbeat?
Ok, so you pay a little bit more for a Pilates session, but to be 100% honest, this is investing in YOUR body. This is about ageing well and avoiding those horrendous medical bills. This is NOT about quick fixes; it is about exercise that is focused on pretty much everything and through your PILATES journey, your final destination is LONGEVITY!
You want to tone? Do Pilates. You want to rehabilitate? Do Pilates. You want to enhance your sports performance? Do Pilates. You are pregnant? Do Pilates. You need to de-stress? Do Pilates. You need a holistic approach to your body? Do Pilates. You want less aches and pains? Do Pilates. You’re depressed? Do Pilates. You want variety? Do Pilates EQUIPMENT where you have a minimum of 540 exercises to choose from, which can be modified and therefore, you are looking at approximately 2000 exercises. Practically insane, but absolutely true!
Have you ever seen the Pilates Equipment? Even the names are cool i.e. Cadillac, Wunda Chair, Ladder Barrel, Spine Corrector and Reformer. Have you seen the really impressive Pilates repertoire / exercises i.e. Swan, Cobra, Hundreds, Flying Eagle, Teaser, Butterfly and Mermaid to name a few.
I have trained Professional sportsmen and women, the elderly, the super fit, the not so fit, the injured, pregnant ladies and those that just need to do something to stay healthy. Guess what? They are addicted. 22 years later and I am more addicted than ever before. What a healthy addiction!
Often sports can be predisposed to certain injuries but Pilates brings something different to your workout and plays an incredible role in cross-training. It was due to dancing that I discovered Pilates in 1998 and used it as my form of cross-training. My performance improved and it definitely reduced my rate of injuries!
My only advice would be that you make sure that you attend class at a Professional Pilates Studio.
What is the energy like at the studio? It has to be inviting and make you feel welcome. Are you learning anything from the instructor? Are they able to adjust an exercise for you according to your needs? Are you receiving a class with variety, movement, discovery and the correct level of intensity? Are the instructors familiar with the anatomy? Are you utilizing the full Pilates space and exploring all the equipment? Do you feel that there is good flow to your class?
So, this is my bit to get you to open your eyes to the Cadillac, Reformer, Wunda Chair, Ladder Barrel and Spine Corrector.
Get hooked on the right things in life. The things that are going to prolong your health, your joints and your overall well-being.
Get hooked on the Pilates Mat and Equipment!
Now show this to a friend, colleague or family member that needs a little Pilates Magic in their life…which is probably everyone!