Pilates is a form of physical and mental training that aims to provide strength and flexibility. It makes it possible to revive the body to achieve efficient and harmonious movements. Its origins date back to the late 19th century, in Germany, where Josef Pilates was born. Pilates was son of a gymnast father of Greek ascent and a German naturopathic mother and his early interest in physical training arose from deficiencies in his own muscular system and in his joints, weakened by the rickets and rheumatic fever he suffered during childhood.
Before arriving in New York, Pilates lived in England where he served as a boxer and artist in a circus until the outbreak of the First World War. Because of the conflict, he was arrested at a camp on the Isle of Man where he spent three and a half years working in the hospital. Among his functions he organised sessions with the prisoners to improve their physical condition, based on movement and breathing. It was in that period that he began to show his role as an inventor, taking advantage of the springs of the mattresses, to create a machine that allowed the injured who could not stop from their beds participate in the exercise sessions. There it was that he discovered the benefits of taking advantage of the resistance of the springs to vary the degree of demand of the movements. After the end of the war he moved to the United States in 1925. He met his wife Clara on the boat trip and together opened a study dedicated to develop his method, "Contrology". His training had welcome between dancers and acrobats. He published a book, but his rise to his body's work system would come long after his death in 1967.
His study of the human body and its mechanisms, combined with his observation and practice of disciplines such as yoga, tai-chi, physique, gymnastics and Zen meditation, enabled him to design the exercise method designed to strengthen the body from the center, consciously and systematically.
What I teach?
I offer you different techniques based in Pilates principles:
1- PILATES MATHWORK;
2- PILATES FLOW - DANCE;
3- PILATES BARRE;
PILATES REFORMER ("Pilates Reformer/Styrka och Stretch", and ")
1- PILATES MATHWORK: We work focusing in the core which means lower back and pelvis placement. Along a class you exercise all the possible movement for the spine (flection, extension, lateral inclination, circumduction). You perform the exercises lying with your back, body sides, and abdomen on the matt, as well as sitting and in standing position. For some exercises you sit in a chair to facilitate body alignment. With Pilates mathwork you improve flexibility and muscle mobility, preventing muscle aches and injuries.
Pelvic floor: Three are the main functions of the pelvic floor muscles: to support abdominal and pelvic organs, to be able to contract to maintain continence, or relax so you can go the toilet, and they also have a role in the sexual function. In Pilates mathwork you train the pelvic floor which combined with daily exercises can have positive effects to keep in your pelvic floor in harmony.
A moment for your body and yourself in your hectic week!
2- PILATES FLOW - DANCE: It is an original workout that blends the grunds of the Pilates method, inspired by modern dance technique Graham, and creative movement. An example of this class: After doing Pilates exercise "roll back", where you sit on the leg and roll back with "C" position in the spine, you do a dance sequence inspired by "contraction" by Graham technique where you roll the lower back with increased abdominal engagement. Through this exercise we strengthen the abdominal muscles and hip joints flexibility. As you change the muscle tone you experience different properties of the movement, for example "airy", "condensed", "soft". Through these dynamic changes and inspired by the music you experience different intensities and emotions. In the class you follow "creative movement" tasks where liberate body and imagination.
A creative training for body and soul!
3- PILATES BARRE: Inspired in "Total Barre" method that combines the rigor STOTT Pilates and the fundamentals of the Barre ballet, Pilates Barre is an innovative training characterised by high intensity and dynamic changes. You move your entire body completely, combining exercises in standing position with hands on a ballet barre (or a wall if you don't have a barre). Your perform for instance "plie" and "tandeux", following the music and changing speed, going from slow, to medium and fast, and adding some "pulses" to improve resistance. You increase, strength, flexibility, resistance, muscular tonic, cardiovascular activity and coordination.
A guaranteed challenging, sweaty and fun class!
PILATES REFORMER: Here you train in the Reformer machine, with is a kind of "bed" with a carriage where you lie on. With the resistance of the machine's spirals that give you different grades of weight resistance it becomes easier for you to activate your muscles. All the movements are based on your powerhouse (core), but you train the whole body. For example, when working with the feet in the "straps" (ropes with handles) you train in a large range of motion, stretching and strengthening out muscles at the same time.
Eccentric Contraction: When a given resistance is greater than the tension exerted by a particular muscle, so is said that said muscle exerts an eccentric contraction, in this case the muscle develops tension by lengthening, a clear example is when we take the glass from the mouth to rest it on the table, in this case the biceps brachis contracts eccentrically. In this case we can say that when the insertion points of a muscle lengthen an eccentric contraction occurs. The importance of muscle contraction in lengthening, allows you to tone while flexing the muscles, giving the muscle an elongated and well defined shape. In reformer we will prioritize this type of contraction, seeking to gain muscle strength, without losing muscle length. Quite the opposite of the work of hypertrophy of the gymnastics training rooms, where volume is sought.
After 3 classes you will become a Reformer fan!
I hold reformer lessons at Studio Frid (www.studiofrid.se). I offer two options:
Pilates Reformer/Styrka och Stretch:
In these classes you work in the Reformer machine (see description above). Stretch, mobility and agility are the main benefits for those who feel "rigid". The dynamic has variations but we keep a continuity and flow, combining each movement with the breath, you feel each movement performed by each part of your body, awaking awareness, control, and connection.
Here you train in the Reformer machine (see description above) and the Cardio-Tramp tool, which a platform added to the reformer, so you can jump lying with your back on the reformer. Your spine doesn't have to support the weigh of you body while you are jumping, which can feel much more comfortable for people with knees injuries. However if you have neck or spine injuries the exercises may be performed cautiously. You increase cardio vascular activity, with intervals in which you stretch and strength with other reformer exercises. Because your body is in movement your core is much required to keep stability.
You definitely find your core, liberating adrenaline and having fun!