Pilates History Pronounced (Pi-la-tes), Pilates is an exercise technique that focuses on strengthening the trunk muscles and creating long strong muscles in the arms and legs. Pilates is an exercise methodology developed by Mr. Joseph Pilates and his wife Clara. The method focuses on controlled movements, especially using the abdominals and coordinating the breath, for this reason he originally called his method “contrology.” Mr. Pilates ran his New York studio, where he trained many dancers and others, from approximately 1925 well into the 1960s until his death in 1967 at the age of 83. There are a few original students who went on to found their own studios and teach the Pilates Method. They are known as the “Pilates Elders”. Several of them are very well known names in Pilates today, and classical Pilates teachers can trace their "lineage" back to one of these original students. Contemporary Pilates focuses on teaching people healthy biomechanics while using the traditional Pilates vocabulary of movements. The Pilates method is touted as a way to create longer leaner muscles, improve posture, strengthen the spine and reduce the incidence of disc herniations, and give you a great butt and toned arms. Modern Pilates has two main groups, classical Pilates vs. contemporary Pilates.
Classical Pilates sticks as closely as possible to Mr. Pilates’ original work. This means his original exercises and the order in which they were performed. There are slight variations according to different sources [ ] about the exact order or the exact way that certain exercises were intended to be performed and so there is contention about whose version is the “real” or the classical version. Another key feature of classical Pilates is the position of the pelvis in the mat work / ab work. Classical Pilates will generally teach abdominal exercises in a “posterior tilt” meaning that, when laying on your back, the lower spine is completely pressed into the floor, creating a tuck in the pelvis.
Contemporary Pilates is based on the work of Mr. Pilates but has been modernized by adjusting the exercises to fit with modern research and has a heavy influence from physical therapy and biomechanics. Many exercises remain the same, but a whole new slew of exercises have been added, or variations have been added allowing for injury rehabilitation and creativity by the instructor. Contemporary Pilates will generally teach exercises in a “neutral pelvis” - or the position one’s spine is in when standing upright in a healthy posture. When lying on one’s back the lower spine will have some space between the back and the floor, and the hip points and the pubic bone will all be in one plane.
We are a contemporary studio. Align Pilates follows a contemporary approach. Why? We believe incorporating modern exercise science and kinesiology into our method makes our students stronger and more efficient movers. In our studio, you will be exposed to the classical Pilates repertoire, as we believe knowing where we came from is important to understanding our growth. We will give you a healthy dose of anatomy and body mechanics in a easy to digest way so you can use the classical and contemporary repertoire to best fit your needs. The result? Our approach delivers a fun, plateau-proof and effective full body workout using the Pilates repertoire as our foundation.