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“Making Better Bodies”
Pilates Plus offers Pilates Apparatus, group fitness classes and private training to enhance strength and flexibility for the whole body. Our fitness program targets core stability and muscle toning from inside out to slim the body without bulking.
by Ashleigh Rose photos Dan Lupastean
Tacoma Mall Blvd Suite #1 Tacoma WA 98409
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a physical method of training the body and mind to work together to create an efficient, integrated, movement experience, increasing strength and flexibility for the whole body. It trains the body and mind to work together to create an efficient, integrated, movement experience — both on the reformer and as you move through daily life.
Pilates is based on six principals, designed to develop postural muscles, core strength, stability and flexibility, while enhancing body awareness. Movements are not performed rapidly or repeated excessively instead, the focus is on quality of the exercise with proper body alignment. This works the body more efficiently creating more effective results.
CENTERING (every movement begins here) CONCENTRATION (being mindful in your body
during each exercise)
CONTROL (during movement utilizing total muscle control)
PRECISION (awareness of body in each movement, for it has purpose)
BREATH (exercises are coordinated with breath allowing for deeper connection to muscles)
FLOW(movements flow from one exercise to another fluidly and gracefully).
Originally developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s. Joe was a boxer growing up in Germany during WWI and WWII, where he interned in prison camps taking care of injured soldiers. He began to rehab the men with his exercises. He continued to develop his method for the next 40 years, first calling it “Contrology”. Because his work helped the prevention of injuries while increasing performance dancers and athletes in New York soon sought after it. A few of original students of Josephs’ kept the work alive. Just within the last 10 years, exercise
science has begun to recognize the benefits of the Pilates principal and its way of movement. It is said “Joseph Pilates was a man 30 years ahead of his time” while he believed “the body should be equally strong as it is flexible.”
Pilates focus for each exercise begins with core stabilization or Pilates world: the “powerhouse” abs, glutes, and lower back. Having control in the powerhouse while the body transitions from one exercise to another is key. The legs and arms are adding more resistance to the core when they move farther away from the body. For example, a common mat exercise is the 100, here you are laying on your back spine is in a c-curve, arms are hovering by the hips, and legs are extended, creating more of resistance to the core – requiring more stability from the center of the body. With the focus on core stabilization it helps develop body tone from the inside out and is an important for the advancement of exercises. All exercises can be modified for client’s success; this is something that instructors learn in their study of the work. Giving you permission to perform the exercises in a modified way is key to its effectiveness to an individual’s body.
Pilates vs Yoga?
Pilates and yoga have similar attributes; both are intended to build awareness and become a way life. The difference lies in the principals and focus of the methods. Pilates is more physical based, where yoga is more of a spiritual based.
Pilate’s condition improves deep core strength, muscle control, flexibility and coordination for whole body tone. Pilates strives for symmetry in the body, getting both sides of the body to be equal and having control while you move. Movements are not performed rapidly, repeated excessively, or held for a certain amount of time; instead they move from one exercise to the other smoothly, focusing on the quality of the work and control of the body’s alignment. Exercising focus on lengthening and stretching the muscles and the spine, in all directions: flexion, extension, lateral flexion, and rotation.
Yoga greatly focuses on flexibility and body awareness. Most commonly there is an order to the exercises and is repeated in each class, improving and exploring deeper into the poses over time. Poses are usually, held in a static stage. There is a wide array of yoga styles; some are more meditative and slow moving while others are in a hot room flowing pose to pose.
Generally, a person who is detail oriented, athletic or was an athlete when they were younger, or have back pain find Pilates be a better fit for their bodies.
What are the benefits or results one may see from Pilates?
There are many benefits to doing Pilates: increases body awareness, improves core strength and flexibility, great for injury prevention, lengthens the body without bulking, reduces stress, gives you more energy, improves posture and decreases neck, joint, and low back pain. Why are these things important: No matter who you are or what you do all you have at the end of the day is your body, your in it for a long time, and the benefits of Pilates will help you live better and more comfortably. It can improve your everyday physical and mental function. Pilates improves breathing patterns, which strengthens the lungs. Allowing for more oxygen to get into the body, which boosts endurance and results in a
healthier life. Pilates is an education of body awareness in itself. It is functional everyday movement and that is what changes your shape. It is being used when you brush your teeth, drive, sit, cook, carry groceries – the lesson of keeping your stomach in and shoulders down while breathing, seems so simple, but its not. Pilates will teach you just that! There is an attention required when performing the exercises and when that is found an entire new way of movement is discovered. This leaves the body feeling refreshed and relaxed.
Pilates helps build joint stability around mobility, which helps in injury prevention. Footwork on the reformer helps to build ankle stability, and strength in the foot muscles. Strengthening the core alleviates back pain while also protecting the body’s organs. The balance between strength and flexibility that Pilates provides creates a healthy, fun, challenging, symmetrical workout for all muscle groups resulting in a leaner, more balanced, stronger body without bulking up.
A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion.
— Joseph Hubertus Pilates
I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.
— Joseph Hubertus Pilates, in 1965, age 86.
ThekeytobenefitingfromPilates exercises is modification allowing a variety of populations to feel the work change their bodies. There is a progression to each exercise, along with modification that impacts the effectiveness of a safe and challenging workout for everybody.
What type of athletes would benefit from Pilates?
Pilates is great for ALL! Athletes, runners, football, golfers, rock climbers, swimmers, hikers, figure skaters. Pilates challenges the body
in the areas it needs to be. Take runners, moving in a frontal plan. Pilates will get the body moving in all directions the spine was meant to move, flexion, extension, side flexion, and rotation. This creates a more stable runner with the strength and flexibility to move forward while being more stable and in control of side stepping or jumping over obstacles in their path.
Pilates also improves and Athletes stance, ankles, arms, chest, and thighs and over time the muscles become more flexible. Since Pilates encourages a mind body connection, concentration is extremely important, and as muscles begin to get stronger so does the mind.
What is the difference in Pilates Apparatus / Pilates Mat?
There are over 500 Pilates exercises proven to make better bodies that can be performed both on the mat and a variety of apparatus, invented by Joseph Pilates. The variety of apparatus includes: Reformer, Cadillac, the Wunda Chair, Ladder barrel, Spine Corrector, and Ped-A-Pull.
Mat is the fruit of Pilates. It is a series of fixed core based exercises, which the body provides its own resistance without any outside
element, such as springs, ropes, or pulleys. Which means there is less support to the body during each exercise, making it the most challenging to a new Pilates client. Mat is great because it can be practiced anywhere, anytime, and modified to meet each clients own needs. When clients reach a certain level of strength, exercises can flow from one to the other with coordination of breath creating a cardiovascular workout. Mat can be a difficult place to start if you have never taken Pilates before.
Pilates Apparatus challenges the body itself. The work done on the machines is assisted by springs that add different degrees of resistance. On the reformer, the springs attach to the carriage,
which moves, on the Cadillac, they support different bars and straps that go on client’s feet or hands. Each piece of equipment is different in itself, you may do a similar exercise on each machine, but the essence of the work is going to be felt a little differently in the body. Apparatus work has endless possibilities of exercises, one exercise you may do lying down, then standing on the moving carriage in the next. All the while maintaining the connection of your “powerhouse” and control of your mind and body.
With the use of the equipment you get a variety of exercise and support from the outside elements. It helps isolate muscle groups allowing the body to work deeper. This is a great for people with chronic injuries or beginners; it helps to strengthen the body without adding strain on the body.
What is the difference between doing Pilates at home or going to a studio.
There is a learning curve to Pilates which people find to be one of the biggest challenges. If anything Pilates will teach you patience. In a studio, you will learn the method from a Certified Pilates Instructor, who has most likely gone through a rigorous Certification course. Most course are anywhere from 500-900 total hours of training. You will learn the technique of Pilates and understand your body better, resulting in a more effective and efficient workout. An instructor will teach you about your bodies strength and weakness, teach
you safe and proper movement during exercises. Doing Pilates at home can be a risk, because there is so much detail to perform the exercises properly. Breath, control, precision, and flow are just a few things that are part of the exercises. A lack of control can lead to frustration, injury, rushing the work, and a negative experience with Pilates. In short, at a studio is much more fun and beneficial!
How does your studio work in terms of membership, and sessions?
Pilates Plus offers Pilates Apparatus, privates, duets and semi-private training sessions, and Group Fitness Classes in Pilates Mat, Fusion Barre, and TRX. All sessions/classes are 55 – minutes and fitness classes are kept under 8-10 students depending on class for safety and more personalized attention. All Pilate sessions are from 1-4 clients.
We have different session package options that client’s can purchase depending on what they like. We have some client’s who just like Pilates Equipment Sessions, such as privates or duets. Others do both: Privates and Group Classes, and others that just do group classes. We try to accommodate and offer a program for everyone, our goal as a studio is to help people’s everyday life by making better bodies.