Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. After a childhood plagued by illness he devoted his life to developing successful fitness programmes. In 1923 he opened his first Pilates studio in New York which became a favourite venue of dancers and actors including Gregory Peck, Katherine Hepburn and Joan Collins!
Since his death in 1967 the exercises have been adapted, simplified and refined making them accessible to a wider range of clientele. However the eight basic principles have been retained.
- Centring (core stability)
- Flowing movements
Physiotherapists utilise Pilates exercises to target the deep postural muscles to create a ‘girdle of strength’ and stabilise the spine. Pilates exercises build strength not bulk, balances flexibility with stability and brings the body into a correct postural alignment which helps to restore natural movement patterns.
In addition the relaxation and concentration elements help to release tension, focuses and calms the mind and so reduces stress levels.
It is especially useful for patients with low back pain; osteoporosis, sports people, dancers, ante and postnatal spinal disorders and stress related problems.
Jill Drew trained with the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute (APPI). The APPI method has been designed by Physiotherapists specifically for use in the rehabilitation setting.