RETURN TO PORTFOLIO
The Pilates Method Excerpts
Joseph H. Pilates
used fitness to rehabilitate his own health problems as a youth. German
born, as a nurse, trained war camp interns in fitness programs in 1918 and
fine-tuned his method working with German police force in 1920s. Moved to
US in 1926, met wife Clara, a nurse and opened New York fitness studio –
both ran this till late 1960s. Studio still thriving today. Died age 87 in
called his system, Contrology, which became very popular with dancers;
later theater troupes, students, sport teams, spa and fitness enthusiasts
book in 1945, “Return to Life through Contrology,” reprinted in 1998
Purpose of Method
to restore natural balance in muscle and bone strength, joint mobility,
posture, flexibility, coordination, body weight, circulation, immunity,
endorphin release, sexual enjoyment, and relieve stress, reduce fatigue
and pain, and build the mind – body connection.
and effective for anyone, whether young, elderly, pregnant,
convalescencing, overweight, chronically ill, athletes
jerky, quick movements, running, weights, straining or exhausting effort
Goals of Mat Work
your approach to exercise
body how to assume correct form, movement and posture
bad habits in posture and body alignment
your mind – body connection
posture, strong center, suppleness, well-being
basic movements and work up to advanced levels
rhythm and dynamic movement with control
flat on back, arms extended down by sides, palms down. Suck in stomach
muscles. Bring right knee into your chest.
right leg up towards ceiling at a 90 degree angle to mat.
both hips on mat, and circle right leg over the body first, then down
round the other foot, then back to starting position. Repeat for 5
circles, then do 5 circles in opposite circular direction.
leg at knee and “hug” it towards you. Repeat sequence with left leg.
flat on back, arms resting on mat, stretched straight overhead. Bring
knees to chest.
legs to 45 degree angle to mat. Suck stomach in, keep flat back.
from navel, roll into a V position with arms pointing towards toes.
bring arms up to ears, and slowly, with control, roll down to mat.
The Roll Down
with your head and back against a wall. Drop head forward and let your
weight slowly “peel” your spine away from the wall, one vertebrae at a
time, tucking stomach in.
- In the
down position, circle arms in relaxed manner, first one way then reverse.
your navel, roll slowly back up to wall, one vertebrae at a time. Repeat 3