Pilates is an exercise system developed by Joseph Pilates to increase flexibility, strengthen muscles and improve overall health. Exercises can be performed either on a mat or on special equipment. Pilates strengthens the core, improves balance, increases coordination and decreases stress.
It focuses on engaging both the body and mind together to achieve the greatest benefit of the movements.
The Universal Reformer machine is the most versatile piece of equipment developed by Joseph Pilates. Using a simple frame, a movable carriage, springs, a foot bar and adjustable straps for both hands and feet, he designed the machine to address virtually every part of the body.
To be healthy in mind and body, we must understand the balance between effort and relaxation. In Pilates class we learn to use just the correct amount of energy to complete the exercise well. We learn to release unnecessary tension in our bodies, helping us to find flow and ease in motion. This is a wonderful skill to bring into our everyday movements and our lives.
From my own personal experience as a dancer for “Sesame Street Live” on tour, I know the importance of Pilates to dancers as well. Carrying a 30-pound costume around the stage, the company knew it was a smart idea to hire a Pilates trainer for us on the road. The instructor taught us about stabilization and mindful movements. To this day, I am ever grateful to the company for preventing injury to my body and for introducing me to this incredible system of moving.
Athletes have caught on to the benefits of Pilates, too. Often, you will hear of professional athletes doing Pilates to increase their level of performance.
"Pilates is a great non-impact workout,” says Marc Munford, former Nebraska Cornhusker and Denver Broncos football player. “It is completely different from traditional strength training or cardio training. Pilates reformer has helped me with overall core strengthening and flexibility.”
Other clients have said …
"As I age, I know this is a complete body workout that I can continue to do. After Pilates class I feel stronger, but relaxed. I look forward to the workout!" – Teresa Abrahams
"Pilates can truly renew your mind, body and spirit." – Annie Votipka
It is important as you choose your Pilates class to honor where your body is NOW. Start at the beginning, and move gracefully onward and upward toward your greatest self. The results will amaze you.