Pilates (pronounced Puh-lah-teez) is a form of exercise created by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s based on his insights into the power of connecting the mind, the body and the breath. This method develops strength, flexibility and coordination while improving body alignment, awareness and balance. Pilates can benefit people of any age or fitness level and is especially good for those with back problems, chronic long term pain or even those just wanting to stay toned and keep fit.
What are the exercises like?
Each exercise is a series of movements that stretch and strengthen muscles throughout the body, releasing tension and opening the joints. You begin by developing core strength in the deep abdominal and back muscles to support and stabilize the skeletal system during movement. Pilates can be done on the mat but the most effective way is by using specially designed equipment. Pilates designed several pieces with adjustable springs for resistance in order to isolate muscles, strengthen areas of the body with control, and uniformly work the entire body, they are the Reformer (a bed-like machine with springs), Cadillac, Chair and the Barrel. Sky Pilates is the only studio Singapore to offer group Cadillac “Tower” classes in addition to group Reformer classes.
Is Pilates right for me?
Pilates is for everyone, from young to old, sedentary to athletic. It is for people who are strong or weak, flexible or inflexible. It is for pregnant women, and is also great for rehabilitation from injury, and is often recommended by doctors, physical therapists and chiropractors. Pilates can be used as a complete fitness program as well as a supplement to other methods of fitness, or as a tool to educate the body to have better posture, or to move in a more effective way.
What is the difference between Pilates and other forms of abdominal training techniques?
Pilates focuses on strengthening the deepest layers of abdominals which form a corset around your torso, while other forms of abdominal training focus only on the superficial layer of abs “the six-pack”. Training the “core” muscles stabilizes and strengthens your back and gives you a very tone and trim middle.
How does Pilates differ from yoga?
Pilates was named after Mr. Joseph Pilates and is an exercise form that uses machines, whilst yoga doesn’t have a Mr. Yoga, but rather is a centuries old mind body discipline that is performed on a mat. Pilates was inspired by both eastern and western forms while developing his method, so there are many similarities. The breathing is different, and you are asked to pull your stomach in rather than allowing it to fill with breath. Pilates is also movement based, rather than a series of postures that are held that is typical of yoga.