Pilates Haven Cork

What is Pilates?

A German man named Joseph Pilates developed the Pilates exercise technique, then called ‘The Art of Contrology’ or muscle control in the early 1900’s. It is a unique exercise method of using the mind to master the muscles.

Pilates was born in Dusseldorf in 1880, and until his death in 1967, he devoted his life to the study of physical education, becoming an accomplished diver, skier, boxer, and gymnast. With these Western influences, and with Eastern philosophies such as yoga and karate, he developed an approach to movement that proves productive both mentally and physically, focusing on training the mind and body to work together toward the goal of overall fitness and health.

Pilates the technique is a unique method of mindful body conditioning that involves a system of strengthening and stretching exercises for the whole body. The floor based exercises use little or no equipment other than ourselves, which makes them so easy to practice anywhere. There are also small and large pieces of equipment. Pilates is concerned with proper breathing, relaxation, concentration, posture and body awareness, support for the spine and joints of the body, and working toward correct muscle balance and tone.

Pilates is not only a method of ‘core conditioning’ as many people perceive it to be. Although the use of the core is a central aspect to the technique, it aims to use every muscle of the body, beginning with those that support the spine and joints first, and continuing with the larger ones responsible for movement. It aims for good muscle balance throughout the whole of the body, working all the muscles as a strong team. Many traditional forms of movement are based on isolating muscles, working each area separately. However, this can often lead to muscle imbalance, if some areas are neglected over others. Pilates treats the body as an integrated whole so eliminates this possibility, thereby reducing the risk of injury.

Pilates is a way of understanding posture, of continued awareness in how we hold ourselves and in how we move, to remove unnecessary stress due to overuse of some muscles, and reawaken others to share the load, and strengthen and tone.

Benefits of Pilates

Anne-Marie’s pilates courses aim to achieve the following for her clients:

  • Better body and posture awareness – better understanding of the muscles that support and move us.
  • Support for the spine and joints of the body – a better understanding and use of the pelvic floor muscles and deep abdominals, plus all the postural muscles of the body, deep and superficial, which support the spine and the joints of the body.
  • Core conditioning – stability and strength
  • Proper Breathing –using the lungs in a relaxed way to their maximum efficiency.
  • Relaxation
  • Concentration
  • Pilates will make you more productive – both mentally and physically.
  • Toning for all the muscles of the body – including stomach, hips, lower back and buttocks, all of which form the ‘powerhouse’ of the body that are key to good posture and proper muscle usage.
  • Functional movement efficiency  – learning what muscles needs to stabilize, move and fire for correct and healthy movement in order to perform activities of daily living with ease.
  • Pilates aids recovery from injury, and injury prevention.
  • Benefits people with back problems, weak or injured necks, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees or ankles.
  • Improved performance in sports.
  • Muscle balance for the whole body.
  • Weight loss – see http://www.pilateshaven.ie/weight-loss-toning
  • Strength and endurance.
  • Flexibility.
  • Suppleness of limbs.
  • Better coordination and mind-body connection.
  • Feel-good factor

Who Can Benefit?

Anne-Marie teaches pilates to a broad range of the community.

  • Anne-Marie teaches clients of 18+ years.
  • Male and female
  • Those recovering from injury or with chronic injuries, and with health conditions – please see http://www.pilateshaven.ie/injures-health-conditions
  • People with back problems, weak or injured necks, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees or ankles.
  • People with sedentary lifestyles who wish to begin a fitness or health program.
  • People that wish to lose weight – all mentioned health benefits apply, plus the advantage of a pilates program that will assist weight loss – please see http://www.pilateshaven.ie/weight-loss-toning
  • People with very active lifestyles.
  • People with physical jobs, that may involve, for example, a lot of heavy lifting, pulling or dragging.
  • Sports people and athletes
  • Dancers
  • People with digestive disorders, e.g. IBS.
  • People in need of stress relief and relaxation.
  • People in need of better coordination skills and/or concentration.
  • People with breathing problems, e.g. asthma.
  • Women prior to pregnancy, during pregnancy and post-pregnancy – please see http://www.pilateshaven.ie/pilates-pregnacy

Pilates Equipment

The Pilates Reformer
Perhaps the most renowned of all Pilates equipment is the Reformer, in this case a Stott Pilates Professional Reformer. It consists of a long cushioned wooden carriage that moves back and forth along metal rails. It has a finely tuned spring resistance system operating under the carriage. On opposite ends it has a foot-bar from which to push off, and a pulley and strap mechanism to place your hands or feet in, depending on the exercise. All this seems complicated, but with personal attention from Anne-Marie, it is very simple to understand, fun and refreshing, and surprisingly versatile, with over one hundred exercises to benefit from.

The Reformer aims to develop:

  • Core strength
  • Flexibility
  • Good posture
  • Great all over Weight loss and body tone
  • Balanced muscle usage in the body
  • Recovery from injury and injury prevention
  • Benefits people with back problems, weak or injured necks, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees or ankles
  • Improved performance in sports
  • Stronger and more toned abdominal and back muscles

Injury Prevention
The Reformer is a large component of the Pilates system of injury rehabilitation. The technique focuses on muscle balance and coordination of the limbs plus upper and lower body musculature, with the torso musculature as the central support network in every exercise.

The Reformer really does re-form the body.

Small pieces of Pilates equipment
Some of these include:

  • Fitness Circles
  • Resistance Bands
  • Straps

Anne-Marie uses these with her clients to compliment the matwork.