Pilates is a type of exercise that focuses on improving flexibility, strength, and body awareness through controlled movements and was created in the 1920s by German physical trainer Joseph Pilates for rehabilitation purposes. His method was influenced by other forms of exercise, including gymnastics and boxing. Dancers and soldiers returning from war were among the first people to benefit from this practice.
Pilates movements tend to focus on core activation through sets like toe taps, leg extensions, and abdominal curls. The Pilates Method focuses on breath, body alignment and precision of movement, making it safe for patients recovering from injury or surgery. During a Pilates class, you might experience a nice burn in targeted areas, but afterwards you can expect to feel really lengthened, energized, and open. Classes are performed with equipment such as the reformer, tower, ladder barrel and chair. Resistance is adjusted using springs and straps allowing adjustment for body weight.
Pilates caters to everyone, no matter age or fitness level. It is a practice that is sustainable and can be done for the rest of your life. At New Stride Physical Therapy we have patients who are 90 years and older actively engaged in Pilates! Unlike high intensity workouts (think interval training), the low impact nature of Pilates makes it a safe option for everyone. To gain the maximum benefit, Dr. Traci McCloskey recommends beginners take two to three Pilates classes per week, combined with a 30-minute walk.
The Pilates Method is recognized as an effective form of therapeutic exercise and is covered by most insurance. If you are interested in using your insurance for Pilates therapeutic exercise, call the New Stride Physical Therapy office today.