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What Is Pilates?

The Pilates Method is a system of exercises created by Joseph Pilates, a boxer, and gymnast who also studied yoga and martial arts. Pilates-based exercise has evolved into a comprehensive exercise program incorporating current knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics, and rehabilitation. It is performed on a mat or specialized equipment that stretches and strengthens muscles through their full range of motion without creating bulk or causing strain.

What Can Pilates Do For You?

Joseph Pilates once said, “In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference and in 30 sessions you’ll have a different body.” Pilates workouts focus on building a strong foundation of “core” strength and stability in your abdominal and back muscles in order to effectively train all other muscles. It is taught one-on-one by an experienced physical therapist or an instructor in a safe environment and is appropriate for all ages and activity levels.

The exercise program is tailored specifically for you and is constantly re-assessed and modified as you progress. The exercises will address imbalances in your alignment and musculoskeletal system that may predispose you to pain and injury. Over time, you will see increased strength and flexibility, improved posture and balance, and a higher level of coordination and athletic performance.

Pilates and Physical Therapy

Pilates is the perfect therapeutic exercise to accompany physical therapy rehabilitation. Each exercise and set of exercises can be adapted to meet your needs and limitations. The set of exercises you do will depend on your diagnosis and the outcome of the physical therapy evaluation and maybe just one part of your overall treatment. Pilates is suitable for treatment of a wide variety of physical therapy diagnoses, including back and neck pain, ankle sprains, knee, hip and shoulder injuries, post-surgical rehabilitation, balance deficits, stenosis, tendonitis and chronic pain. It can also be modified for those who are not able to bear full weight, need to avoid the use of a certain joint, and during and after pregnancy.

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