Reinforcing the True Essence of Pilates: The Benefits of Practicing the Traditional Joseph Pilates Program

Posted by on Feb 26, 2020 in Joseph Pilates

Reinforcing the True Essence of Pilates: The Benefits of Practicing the Traditional Joseph Pilates Program

To truly appreciate a concept, an idea, or a practice, we must first understand the why and how of it all. Likewise, in knowing the who behind it, we get the context and intent of its design and creation. The same holds true for Pilates—an approach to conditioning developed by its founder,Joseph H. Pilates. In this article, we will provide you with a better appreciation of Pilates to help you sustain it as a mind-body fitness habit: How Pilates Differs from Most Physical Fitness MethodsHow to Get the Most Out of Your Pilates SessionsHow the Traditional Pilates Principles Benefit You Mr. Pilates started out as a gymnast and bodybuilder, then became a self-defense instructor for police trainees (among other things). Growing up, he suffered from chronic asthma and contracted rheumatic fever and rickets. It’s no wonder why improving physical strength became both a necessity and a lifelong quest for Mr. Pilates. He believed that poor health can be attributed to bad posture, improper breathing, and a “modern lifestyle,” which characterises the sedentary, stress-riddled working professional of today. Pilates as a fitness method emerged around a hundred years ago. Its early applications included the rehabilitation of injured soldiers toward improving range of motion and managing pain. Drawing from a background in gymnastics, body-building, and the martial arts, Mr. Pilates devised a series of exercises and training techniques now known universally as Pilates. More than a straightforward workout, Pilates is about achieving mind-and-body harmony, freedom of movement, and a zest for life (which establishes the why of Pilates). It’s an activity not just for the athletically-inclined but, dare we say, everyone looking for a path to health, happiness, and new horizons. How Pilates Differs from Most Physical Fitness Methods Unlike the usual workout program that we follow at the gym, Pilates is not a collection of repetitive standalone movements. Mr. Pilates first coined the term contrology to describe his sequence of 34 exercises—each flowing to the next in purposeful succession. In its original design, the sequential flow of exercises were done on a mat using only one’s bodyweight. It’s imperative that each exercise is executed in the exact sequence, in the designated number of repetitions (usually no more than six reps), before moving onto the next exercise. The apparatus now used widely in the practice of Pilates—such as the Pilates reformer, Pilates chairs, barrels, tower, and Cadillac—evolved from the bed springs and contraptions that Mr. Pilates put together. Pilates himself engineered the first equipment and devised the specifications to teach his methods properly. We at Pilates Plus appreciate the philosophy behind the creation of Pilates. Our years of training and experience have taught us that the original method produced the intended results. We understand that, in this age where fast is the normal pace and convenience is a deciding factor, the original method has undergone changes. Some of its practitioners may...

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Take Your Workout Up a Notch with Dynamic Pilates

Posted by on Dec 9, 2019 in Blogs

Take Your Workout Up a Notch with Dynamic Pilates

If you’re into intense, blood-pumping workouts that give you an adrenaline high, Pilates may not exactly be the first thing to come to mind.  Yet, that’s exactly what’s in store you for you once you step into the studio for a session of Dynamic Pilates. You see, Dynamic Pilates differs from its traditional and comparatively more relaxed counterpart in its intensity and vigour, making it a great cardio workout as well.  In this blog, we’ll talk about how Dynamic Pilates and how it can turn you into a lean, mean, fitness machine.  Pilates at its Core—and So Much More Dynamic Pilates is similar to classic Pilates in that it features a series of controlled and precise movements meant to re-establish your natural balance. Dynamic pinpoints the waist’s and lower back’s core muscles, which provide support for your entire body. Both Dynamic and traditional routines likewise feature a lot of stretching. Dynamic Pilates, however, puts a lot of emphasis on improving posture and developing toned muscles in a short amount of time—hence the high level of high-powered activity. Some routines are a lot like classic Pilates combined with circuit training moves, where other muscle groups as well as the core muscles get a good workout. Anyone who switches from classic to Dynamic is bound to notice how workouts are longer, with each exercise repeated for longer periods to achieve thorough muscle fatigue. Moving the larger muscle groups such as the glutes are also given emphasis to make sure the entire body benefits. Dynamic Mat Pilates Dynamic Mat combines Joseph Pilates’ traditional mat exercises with energetic movements performed at a faster pace. You could say Dynamic incorporates all Six Principles of Movement formulated by Pilates himself: Breath, Concentration, Control, Centering, Precision and Flow, making it more challenging and more fun (if you’re the upbeat type) than classic Pilates.  The real challenge lies in being able to blend each movement into a seamless, continuous whole while exercising your entire body. Exercises during a typical Dynamic Mat class include: Abdominal series Kneeling Leg circles Planking, front leg pulls, push-ups, stars, side bends, twists, side kicks Quadrupeds Rolling like a ball, seal rolls, boomerangs and open leg rockers Roll overs, control balances, corkscrews, jack knifes Roll ups Saws Single leg and shoulder bridging Spine twists and stretches Standing balances, squats and roll downs Swan, swimming, and rocking extensions While Mat Pilates generally uses your own body weight, Dynamic Mat Pilates may also add the use of other exercise equipment such as flex bands, foam rollers, hand weights and mini stability balls.  Dynamic Reformer Pilates To take your workout to the next level after the next level, Dynamic Pilates can be done on a Reformer, which is a special apparatus used for Pilates exercises. This apparatus, which looks a lot like a bed with a lot of hoops and straps, allows you to perform a...

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Mummy Tummy Troubles? Try Pilates.

Posted by on Sep 26, 2019 in Blogs

Mummy Tummy Troubles? Try Pilates.

Let’s face it: We can’t all be Chrissy Teigen. But if you think only supermodels can have a slim waist or only men can have a six-pack, think again. A nice, firm mid-section before and after pregnancy is possible with ab sculpting Pilates exercises. Even if you already have a mummy tummy, AKA the mom pooch  (or a muffin top, love handles, beer belly or so on), you may want to consider Pilates instead of crunches or a crash diet. To understand how Pilates can help, let’s first take a look at how mom pooches form, along with other causes of tummy flab. We’ll also take a look at supposed mom pooch solutions, and why Pilates ab sculpting exercises could prove to be more effective. How a Mom Pooch is Born The way the body makes way for the bun in the oven is a wonder of nature in its own right. Unfortunately, once the air is let out of the balloon, so to speak, the tummy tends to look as deflated and wrinkly as its rubber counterpart, instead of reverting to its pre-pregnancy form. The obvious challenge would then be to improve the mid-section’s skin turgor and muscle tone. But the root of the problem lies in the abdominal muscles, where a condition called Diastasis Recti separates the muscles that make up the six-pack. These muscles are connected in the middle by the linea alba, which is the white area you can see in the front part of the illustration below. Picture credit: By OpenStax College – https://cnx.org/contents/FPtK1zmh@8.108:y9_gDy74@5, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64291130 The separation of the muscles takes place as the tummy extends to accommodate the growing foetus. As the baby grows, these muscles can stretch up to 50% of their original length. Diastasis Recti is also caused by rapid weight gain, heavy lifting, and heavy-duty abdominal exercises. You can tell at sight whether a person has this condition if you see a ridge-like bulge in the middle of the abdomen.  There’s also a “touch test” which you can take by lying flat on your back and slowly lifting your head above the surface while running your hands long the linea alba. If you feel something protruding, then Diastasis Recti is the culprit. Watch the video below for a demonstration of how the test is done. [ Embed:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvybTZiLqRE ] Other Tummy Flab-Causing Factors If you’ve determined that Diastasis Recti isn’t behind your jelly belly, then there are other ways tummy flab may be formed, some of which aren’t as obvious as you might think. Medical News Today identifies the following on top of the usual bad diet, drinking and inactivity: Stress, with which the body copes by releasing a hormone called cortisol, which unfortunately also causes extra calories to accumulate round the tummy to be used when called for. Genetics, which some findings suggest can influence a...

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Too Busy To Stay Fit? Try These Exercises!

Posted by on Apr 29, 2019 in Blogs, Pilates Exercise

It is a weeknight and you’re in your jammies feeling tired, bloated, but wanting desperately to get back into the habit of exercising again. Perhaps you want to get yourself back in the gym but the reason that there’s simply no time. If you’ve found yourself on the couch scrolling through Netflix every night, then you definitely have some time to get a workout! With all the demands of work and family most of us need to get through every day, it is no wonder we have some difficulty sticking with an exercise routine long enough to see results. Often, we just throw our hands up in exasperation and think ‘why bother?’ when really, all it takes is a shift in perspective and one or two lifestyle changes to get us back out there reaching our fitness goals. If you have been living a sedentary lifestyle lately, dismantling the bad habits you picked up – sitting more, moving less – may seem like an uphill battle, but one tiny change three to four times a week can make the task at hand seem less herculean and more of a fun break to your day. Exercise doesn’t have to take up an entire afternoon to be effective and you don’t need fancy clothes or equipment to get back in the saddle, so to speak. Here are four easy ways to get you started on your road to wellness. 1. Walking Walking is, quite simply, the easiest way to get more active. You don’t need special equipment and it can be done anywhere. According to a Harvard health article, walking even at a casual pace of two miles per hour at 5 ½ miles per week reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 31% and the risk of dying by 32%. Walking doesn’t have to be a slog either. If you enjoy window-shopping, walk around the mall a few times. You get the perks of a cardio workout and spend time looking at things you like! If you favor the great outdoors, hit a park near your home or walk around a new neighborhood. Who knows what interesting things you may discover during your stroll? Maybe you find a new café or restaurant you never knew existed but now need to try, or you find quaint, instagrammable buildings you would never have found if you weren’t on foot. The possibilities are endless! 2. Desk stretches and simple body exercises If you’re really pressed for time and need quick midday solutions, why not bring exercise to work? We all need to find fluid and easy movement in our bodies and stretching is a great way to start getting the blood flowing again. Just three to five minutes during your lunch or other breaks can work wonders. Gentle stretches by your desk can keep you limber and give your body more range of...

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Why Pilates is an Affordable Treatment for Body Aches in Singapore

Posted by on Mar 15, 2019 in Blogs

An affordable way to treat body aches? Sign me up for that! Well, why wouldn’t you, when most of us are stuck on our seats for hours every day – a lifestyle that carries a string of health risks.  Aches and pains are just some of the symptoms that, if left unmanaged, can also lead to chronic health problems. Pilates in Singapore is making a silent revolution in fitness with many turning to it for its benefits. So, if body aches are affecting how you function every day and your overall well-being, this type of exercise is worth considering. It can boost your fitness regimen, all while giving you your money’s worth! Pain and the bigger picture The Straits Times reports that body pain is not just a personal issue. It is also a national concern that costs the economy S$8.4 Billion each year. In 2016, workers in Singapore took an average of 3 days of medical leave due to pain, while those who tried to brave through it showed a 15% decline in productivity. It is also reported that 9 out of 10 people may experience back pain at some point in their lives. And if you hold a physically-demanding job or even one that is highly sedentary, you know that backaches are all too familiar. This shows that body pain is something that should not be left to linger, and must be taken seriously. With the rising cost of medical care to address chronic pain, Pilates as a complementary treatment or even as a preventive measure would come up to be a cost-effective option. However, this is a matter that you must discuss with your doctor, especially if you have special needs. How much does Pilates personal training cost? The average cost of a personal Pilates training in Singapore is around S$40, and it can go as high as S$130 for every session. Some studios require a registration fee, while some don’t require this in their arrangements. If you want to get several sessions at a more affordable price, you can sign-up for Pilates courses that are grouped into packages with 5 to 10 sessions. At Pilates Plus, we have the following arrangements: Single Drop-In: S$50 per person 12 sessions: S$365 per person (S$30/session), valid for 3 months 30 sessions: S$845 per person (S$28/session), valid for 8 months Group class packages are applicable to Pilates Matwork, Strength Pilates, Calisthenics Bent Arm, Calisthenics Straight Arm, Organic Strength, and Deep Stretch Classes. Reformer Allegro Group Class Packages: Single Drop-In: S$50 12 sessions: S$475 per person ($39/session) for 3 months A Group Class package is applicable for the Reformer Allegro Class and Reformer Strength Series. It can also be used for the Pilates Equipment Group class after you’ve undergone 3 Private sessions for individual programming. If you are interested to join the Reformer Allegro or the Reformer Strength Series from your...

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10 Things You Can Get Out of a Pilates Reformer Class in Singapore

Posted by on Feb 21, 2019 in Blogs, Pilates Benefits

A Pilates Reformer is probably the most recognizable equipment for this type of fitness regimen. Its hulking size may seem intimidating at first, but if you can go past your first impression, you’d be surprised at the range of benefits it provides. Here we break down 8 reasons why a Pilates Reformer Class in Singapore will be a good addition to your fitness regimen.   What is a Pilates Reformer? Pilates is either performed on a mat or specialised equipment called a Reformer, originally called a “Universal Reformer”. It is one of the 12 original Pilates devices which is designed as a bed-like structure rigged with bedsprings, headboards, and footboards. At first look, it may appear like a medieval torture device, but the overall design is intended to provide resistance when executing Pilates exercises. Today, a Pilates Reformer comes with a more streamlined design. Different companies add their own spin to it with the intent to make it more efficient. The market now has a range of designs, from a Home Pilates Reformer to commercial-grade machines strapped with all the necessary bells and whistles to improve core strength, flexibility, balance, and stability.   Benefits of a Pilates Reformer 1. A strong core Centering is the focal point of the Pilates method. It refers to the core of the body, or the “powerhouse,” where all the energy begins and radiates outward to the extremities. The level of resistance is adjusted by the number of springs that are attached. For example, one would provide the least resistance, while five represents maximum resistance that you can get from a standard Reformer. This versatile, impact-free workout puts emphasis on strengthening the pelvic floor and the deep core muscles. When these muscles are engaged properly, they develop a stronger body with a stable foundation. Research even showed that a Reformer Pilates session can improve core stability in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients. With the strength arising from the core, one can maintain good control of the movements performed. 2. Improves overall strength While targeting the core also allows better execution and command of the different muscles, Reformer classes also challenge the entire body. The pushing and pulling motion experienced by all your extremities against the resistance springs, carriage and body weight gradually builds strength. Without creating so much impact on your joints, it allows you to work all your muscle groups, even up to the smallest musculature in a precise and controlled fashion. This kind of strength training preserves and enhances your muscle mass. 3. Provides a full range of motion The cables and bars of a Reformer device allows you to move your body with a full range of motion which is something that you might not be able to achieve on your own. It encourages you to extend to the fullest while you follow the track. With usual exercise, and without so much...

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