Pilates is a physical ﬁtness system that works on ﬂexibility, muscular endurance and core strengthening. It is named after Joseph Pilates who created a unique andspeciﬁc method of ﬁtness in the early 1920’s to help rehabilitate injured soldiers during WWI. To help strengthen the bed bound soldiers, he attached springs to the bed posts and the base of the bed to assist movement and strengthening from a lying down position. He later designed specialized pieces of equipment that we continue to use today that not only assist with movement, but strengthen muscles in a unique and challenging Saw.
When Joseph Pilates came to NYC in 1926, he opened his studio on Eighth Ave and 56th Street in Manhattan. Most of his clientele were athletes and dancers including notable ballerinas such as George Balanchine and Martha Graham. They became devotees and sent their ballerinas to Joseph’s studio to rehab from dance injuries. The studio slowly gained much popularity among the elite socialites and the performing arts community.
Over the years, the pilates method became a specialized and desired mode of ﬁtness and started to gain popularity in NY and California. Pilates' students learned his techniques and went on to open studios of their own across the country. Today, Pilates equipment and classes have gained much popularity in the mainstream ﬁtness world. Pilates classes are taught as mat classes on the ﬂoor or on pilates equipment which is modeled after Joseph Pilate’s original equipment that he used in his NYC studio. Physical Therapists are starting to use pilates equipment because it is a great for core strengthening, posture and rehabilitation.
What is the advantage of doing pilates for rehabilitation with a Physical Therapist who has pilates training versus a pilates instructor who is not a PT? When dealing with injury or post surgical rehabilitation, PT’s are trained to look at the body with a different eye to prevent injury and promote ﬂexibility where needed. Depending on the person’s injury and diagnosis, certain movements may be contraindicated and can exacerbate symptoms or cause further injury. When dealing with issues of pain, post surgery, osteoporosis, inflammatory conditions ect…pilates can be a great tool for rehabilitation if done carefully and with the knowledge and intuition of an experienced PT.
Beneﬁts of Pilates: Improves posture, strengthens the deep core muscles and flattens abdominals, increases energy and flexibility, adaptable to all levels of fitness, promotes better sleep and can help with weight loss, increases the mind body connection.
Rehabilitation with Pilates: Can help with: back pain, muscle pain and spasm, neck pain, shoulder impingement, post orthopedic surgery, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s, MS, CVA, scoliosis..and much more....
Picture of Joseph Pilates in his Eighth Ave Studio in NYC.
Joseph Pilates Studio, NYC