The Pilates Barre - Be Inspired. Take Action. Transform.
About Pilates & Stott™ Pilates
“In ten sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 you will see the difference, and in 30 you will have a whole new body.”
- Joseph Pilates
Pilates (pi-lah-teez) is a form of body conditioning developed in the early 20th century by German-born gymnast Joseph Pilates. Originally dubbed "contrology," pilates encompasses more than 500 exercises that simultaneously stretch and strengthen muscles. A non-impact exercise that balances the building of muscular strength and endurance with flexibility, proper body alignment and balance, pilates is suitable for everyone from high performing athletes to pre-post natal women, rehab patients and the elderly. Pilates was designed to be an efficient, results-oriented form of exercise. As Joseph Pilates himself said, "a few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion."
Developed in 1988 by Moira Merrithew and Lindsay G. Merrithew, along with a team of physical therapists, sports medicine and fitness professionals, STOTT™ PILATES is a contemporary approach to the original method, that combines the fundamentals of developing core strength and flexibility with the modern principles of exercise science and spinal rehabilitation. Touted as "intelligent exercise", the STOTT method of pilates is designed to restore the natural curves of the spine and re-balance the muscles around the joints. Its about strengthening the body from the inside out. Think about your body as a leather bag - no matter how high quality the leather, you cannot build a high-quality bag with shoddy seams! If you spend all your time working yourself into a lather on the treadmill and training only the large muscle groups, the smaller core "stability" muscles get overwhelmed and you are sidelined with injuries.
THE BENEFITS OF STOTT PILATES
The Pilates Body
- Longer, leaner muscles (less bulk, more freedom of movement)
- Increased muscular strength, endurance and flexibility
- Improved posture, balance and co-ordination
- Increased core strength and stability (helps prevent injury)
- Refined athletic performance
- Weight loss and improved body composition
- Greater energy and vigor
- Greater mind-body awareness and connection
The Pilates Mind
- Enhanced self-awareness and self-confidence
- Improved concentration and focus
- Elevated spirit and clarity of thought (assisted by deep, pilates breathing)
- Feeling of inner calm
- Sense of rejuvination
- Feeling of being "centered"
- Feel more youthful - Joseph Pilates believed believed the only guide to your true age lies not in years or in how you THINK you feel, but in the degree of natural and normal flexibility enjoyed by your spine throughout life.
BENEFITS OF PILATES OVER TRADITIONAL RESISTANCE TRAINING
Through the use of various pieces of specialized equipment and mat exercises, Stott pilates offers an advantage over traditional resistance exercises (weights) by allowing three-dimensional movements to be performed (all planes of movement are utilized). The spring resistance more closely resembles muscular contraction, with emphasis on concentric/eccentric contraction for injury prevention. Pilates also corrects over-training and muscle imbalance that leads to injury and a disproportionate aesthetic appearance. While these are benefits to traditional weight resistance training, they can and should be combined in your fitness program and are a great compliment to each other.
PRINCIPLES OF PILATES
Stott pilates is built upon 5 basic principles that place great emphasis on body position and awareness, particularly on the spine and core muscles:
- Breathing - this breath pattern emphasizes deep and controlled breathing, allowing for greater engagement of core muscles, oxygenation of tissues and release of toxins.
- Pelvic Placement - the natural curve of the spine is emphasized and a "neutral" pelvic and lower back position in most exercises, eliminating lower back pain.
- Ribcage Placement - a neutral ribcage placement is utilized throughout exercises, reducing stress on the thoracic spine.
- Scapular Movement - Proper placement of your scapulae (shoulder blades) is essential to avoiding neck and shoulder strain.
- Head and Cervical Spine Placement - tension in your neck, shoulders and upper back is avoided by maintaining a natural curve to your neck and positioning your head directly above your shoulders.
Note that by adhering to these 5 principles while performing exercises, not only do you encourage proper body alignment and prevent injury, but also isolate the exact muscles intended to be utilized throughout each exercise. This is why you have to perform so few repititions to produce extraordinary results!
Gliding back and forth on rollers and using springs instead of weights for resistance, the reformer provides gradual resistance as your muscles contract. This delivers an ultimately effective workout while minimizing stress on tendons and ligaments.
This versatile piece of equipment adds more than 200 exercises to the pilates repertoire and challenges the body in different planes of motion. There are therapeutic and challenging applications for everyone, ranging from rehab clients to peak performance gymnasts and athletes, who benefit from unique movements made possible with the trapeze.
The Stability Chair
Further increasing exercise variety, the stability chair is ideal for re-balancing muscles weakened due to strain or injury. The optional split pedal allows clients to perform functional exercises while isolating one side of the body at a time. It is particularly suitable for clients who need to remain in an upright position and also facilitates high-performance exercises for the very fit.
The Ladder Barrel
Designed for core stability and stretching, the ladder barrel offers uniquely challenging exercises for varying strengths and degrees of flexibility.
Used for many years across Europe to train Olympic athletes and rehabilitate patients following injuries and strokes, Redcord allows you to gain functional strength. It is based on performing exercises in unstable ropes with straps and slings, with your own body weight as resistance. It is a powerful stimulus for activating the body's deep stabilizing musculature. Every exercise requires your body to turn on multiple muscle groups in a functional way, instead of in an isolated, artificial manner. It is the ultimate complimentary form of exercise for pilates and together they will produce fast and phenomenal results.