Welcome to Pilates Central!

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What's the Fuss About Pilates?

(Published in the Broomfield Enterprise)

What do Oprah, Tiger Woods, Julia Roberts, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Chad Hutchinson (Dallas Cowboys QB) and quite a few of the San Francisco 49ers have in common?  They all do Pilates!  Enthusiasm for Pilates is growing and for good reason. 

“My back has never felt better.”  “Pilates has taken my pain away”.  “My doctor sent me”.  These are some of the comments from students in my classes.  Pilates has healed me as well.  In 2000, I tore my ACL playing soccer.  By the time I started Pilates my back hurt so much I couldn’t turn over in bed at night with out holding on to the headboard and crying.  I took a weekend seminar on Pilates and by Sunday afternoon, my back started feeling better.  It has healed me and changed my life!

So what is Pilates? 

Pilates is a non-impact, full-body strength and flexibility program which improves posture, balance and coordination. With regular participation, Pilates increases lung capacity, circulation, bone density, joint health, and creates long lean muscles without bulking up.  It can also alleviate chronic pain and reduce stress.

In the early 1900’s, Joseph Pilates developed his method of exercise designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body,.  He addressed his own physical weaknesses and called this original “mat work” Contrology.  He was interned as a German national in England during WWI.  As a nurse he experimented with springs on hospital beds and created a system of muscle movement and resistance that helped speed the recovery of injured soldiers. He added focused breathing patterns to specific exercises and Pilates was born.  After the war, Joseph Pilates moved to the United States and refined his exercise system into what he called “a complete coordination of the body, mind and spirit.”

Today, Pilates consists of approximately 500 different movements performed on mats and specialized equipment including a modification of Pilates’ “Universal Reformer” hospital bed design.  The movements are designed to work several muscle groups simultaneously through smooth, continuous motion.  Pilates focus on quality of movement rather than quantity makes you feel invigorated rather than exhausted after a session.  Pilates is also an important adjunct to professional sports training and physical rehabilitation of all kinds.

According to Donna McLean, Master Instructor, “Pilates is so much more than rehabilitation.  It’s a deepening awareness of your body moving.  The whole mind-body work out idea is being used haphazardly these days, without awareness of how to work from the inside out”.  Core strength is the new buzz word in fitness.  McLean says, “Finding true core strength is more challenging than just muscling through an exercise.  It’s not about a lot of reps, a few well done movements are better than many poorly executed.”

Besides all the great benefits it feels good and it’s fun!  You get to move in ways you don’t normally move as an adult.  Pilates has a universal appeal to many different types of people. It can be gentle and rehabilitative or intense body conditioning. There‘s something in it for everyone!