What is Pilates?
The power of Pilates lies in the fact that during the exercises several muscle groups are trained simultaneously in smooth, continuous movements. By developing the right techniques, the body can be re-trained to move in safer, more efficient movement patterns and this is invaluable for recovery and prevention of injuries, sports performance, good posture and optimal health.
At Pilates, it’s all about using your mind to control the muscles in your body, working from your core. After all, with a well-trained core you bring your entire body into balance, which in turn has an effect on your backbone (and thus you prevent neck and back pains, amongst other things).
Joseph Pilates (1883 –1967) is the creator of the Pilates movement method. As a child, he was often sick and he created all kinds of exercises to make and keep his body healthy. During the First World War, he was imprisoned as a German in an English camp. During this period, he continued to work on his own series of exercises. He was convinced that poor health was mainly due to the wrong way of breathing and the wrong posture. Adventurous Joseph emigrated to New York after the war. Here he started teaching his method to professional dancers, athletes and actors. With his own childhood with a lot of illness in mind, he decided to design a special bed so that even patients could do their exercises and hopefully recover faster. Joseph taught his own “Pilates” method for years; first from New York and later the rest of America was conquered. And now, many years later, the whole world is doing Pilates.
What is the Allegro Reformer?
At Bodyvita, we use low training beds where you can lie on in different positions to do exercises, while you use extra resistance from various springs, in combination with your own height and weight. In our lessons we work with the Allegro Reformer, the most renowned brand on the market.
During the lessons at Bodyvita, the trainer says which springs (these have different colors – and therefore resistances) should be used from the reformer bed. These springs provide extra muscle effort, which in turn helps to improve a (not yet) optimal posture or to correct muscles that are out of balance. The bed can be used in many different positions and heights.
The allegro’s second possibility is using the tower. On one side of the bed is the “tower”: a vertical construction of metal pipes on which various hand and or foot handles, springs, pulleys and rods can be used during the lesson. A part of the bed can also be removed and individual elements can be placed on top of it. You can lie, sit or stand on it; all at the instruction of the trainer.
With the exercises on the Reformer / tower you train individual body parts, with special attention often paid to your so-called “core” (the central part of your body). It’s all about flexibility, balance and muscle strength. The Bodyvita trainers pay great attention to every participant in the (group) lesson and they always ask beforehand whether someone has a special request (for example, a – temporary – injury, or just wants to stretch a lot). During group lessons 4-7 people take part in a lesson.
Bodyvita firmly believes in using the reformer / tower because of the almost endless variety of exercises you can do with it. Because of the extra resistance, working on a reformer / tower is experienced more intensively. Pilates on the Allegro Reformer is suitable for training both daily movements and athletic training that requires more muscle strength.