Joseph Pilates (1881-1967), was born in Germany. He became interested in physical fitness in an effort to improve his own health after a sickly childhood. He studied yoga, zen meditation, martial arts, as well as ancient Greek and Roman fitness techniques. During World War I, while working as an orderly in an infirmary, he attached springs to hospital beds thereby assisting bed-ridden patients with exercise. Expanding on these ideas Pilates and his wife moved to New York in 1926 to open their first studio where they began teaching his method of exercise and physical movement designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body. He quickly developed a following of dancers who recognized the benefits of Pilates exercise and equipment. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that Pilates became mainstream. Today Pilates is widely recognized as an invaluable tool not only for fitness, but also as an important adjunct to sports training and physical rehabilitation of all kinds.
In 2003 we began incorporating Pilates principles into our rehabilitation protocol. We have found that training on the Pilates equipment, combined with the use of mirrors, quickly improves your body awareness, as well as your strength, flexibility, balance, proprioception, and coordination. Next we simulate these exercises for your home/gym program using balls, rollers, tubing, and weights. This reinforces your awareness of posture and body mechanics, as well as helps you develop new movement patterns. With a bit of practice, these new movement patterns will become automatic. What does this mean to you? Good posture and body mechanics that come naturally, full recovery from your injury, a quick return to work and recreation, and a significantly reduced risk of future injuries.