TCM Northern Beaches is a rich, truly holistic approach that relies on understanding and considering the entire energetic system of the body. The origins of Pilates are interesting to read and date back to the early part of the 20th century, 1910 to be precise. The inventor of Pilates, Joseph Pilates, created these sets of exercises to improve the quality of his health. During World War I Joseph Pilates found himself residing in a detention centre in England. Because of his nationality he was regarded as an enemy to the country. Because, even as a child, he never enjoyed particularly good health and was lacking in physical strength. As a way to combat his frailties he began to exercise regularly. During his incarceration in England he was inspired to use the springs found in hospital beds as a way to continue his exercises. He found that the springs provided the exact resistance he needed to use as a way to strengthen his body. It was from these humble beginnings that the Pilates Reformer was created.
The techniques employed in Pilates are designed for anyone of any level of fitness because the groups of exercises are low intensity, and do not demand strenuous cardiovascular movement. For those who lack boundless energy but want to strengthen and tone their body Pilates is the ideal form of exercise and the results will be enjoyed if the Pilates techniques are practised consistently. Pilates requires very little use of equipment, and the accessories that are used, such as the Pilates reformer, are easily transportable and inexpensive.
Before undertaking the rather challenging and intricate floor exercises practised on the Pilates mat, it is advisable to become acquainted with the Pilates reformer. However, never attempt to try either the Pilates reformer, or Pilates mat exercises without taking instruction from a fully qualified Pilates instructor. The benefits of having professional tuition is that your instructor will ensure that you perform exercises that will target certain parts of your body that really need strengthening and will correct you if you are not performing those movements accurately. Your Pilates instructor will also instruct you on how to use any of the Pilates equipment.
The Pilates reformer has an excellent reputation for producing noticeable results. And as the name suggests, the Pilates reformer will certainly change your body for the better.
To perform one of the basic Pilates reformer exercises you will need to be positioned correctly on the ‘carriage’ by your instructor. You should be lying on your back and then you will be required to push your body upwards and downwards. Your instructor will ensure that you are performing the movement accurately and that your body position does not allow you to strain your muscles. There are variations to this exercise depending on which machine you have chosen to use.
The use of the Pilates reformer is actually far more effective than any of the resistance exercises you may already be practising. As Pilates is aimed at strengthening the muscles of the abdominals, lower back and pelvis amongst other muscle groups, your instructor will demonstrate how to keep your spine and pelvis in a neutral position, and you will be able to feel the impact of the exercises in this core region. Ideally, areas such as the back of the legs and the hips should take the strain of the exercise and not the knees, so you will be required to relax your quads and knees to prevent injury.
The above are just the rudiments required when practising with the Pilates reformer. As you progress and become more confident, flexible and stronger you will be able to participate in more intense and challenging movements. Your instructor will assess your ability and will remove the supportive foot bar. The basic idea is to eventually remove all forms of supportive equipment and as your core muscles strengthen your body will be total control of the movements that you are performing. In this way you will only need your Pilates accessories and the Pilates reformer.
If you exercise with the Pilates reformer regularly and accurately you will experience a stronger, leaner, more toned body in a relatively short time and you will be inspired by the results to push your limitations a little each time.
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