Pilates is an exercise system focusing on improving strength and flexibility for the whole body. Pilates develops the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine often referred to as “the core”. Pilates emphasizes correct spinal and pelvic alignment, deep relaxed breathing, and smooth flowing movement. Pilates improves and complements your regular activities to help you look better, perform better and more efficiently and, above all, feel better and stronger. It is used as an adjunct to treatment for a variety of conditions, and for enhancement of everyday function and sporting performance. Regardless of age, fitness level and experience with exercise everybody can part take in our Pilates classes.

Life can wreak havoc on our bodies and we can become imbalanced in the course of daily living e.g. we are left or right handed; we swing a golf-club or tennis racquet on one side; we carry bags on one shoulder or children on one hip. These postures or habits cause us to consistently overuse some muscles and under use others.

Pilates aims to:

 Teach body awareness, good posture, symmetry between right and left body and easy, graceful movements.
 Improve flexibility and agility, balance and co-ordination.
 Help alleviate back pain.
 Improve strength and stamina without adding big bulk to the muscles – no point being strong but inflexible.
 Reduce risk of injury and speeds up recovery if injuries do occur.
 Enable players/athletes to generate more power in order to accelerate quickly and produce more strength and efficiency in areas of contact or impact.

The term Pilates comes the name of its founder -Joseph H. Pilates, born in 1880 in Germany. He suffered ill health as a child but devoted himself to overcoming his physical limitations. Taunted as a child for his small size, Joseph began to educate himself in anatomy, bodybuilding, wrestling, yoga, gymnastics, and martial arts. He travelled to England where he became a boxer, a circus performer, and trained detectives in self defence. At the outbreak of the First World War, he was interned with other German nationals. During this time he taught fellow prisoners his system of exercise. After WWI, Joseph briefly returned to Germany where his reputation as a physical trainer preceded him working briefly for the Hamburg Military Police in self-defense and physical training. In 1925, he was asked to train the German army; instead he packed his bags and took a boat to New York City. He went on to establish his studio in New York; he evolved the Pilates method of exercise, invented the Pilates exercise equipment, and trained students. Joseph Pilates taught in New York from 1926 to 1966 in close proximity to a number of dance studios, which led to his “discovery” by the dance community. Many dancers and well-known persons of New York depended on Pilates method training for the strength and grace, as well as for its rehabilitative effects. Joe remained active in his training until his untimely death in 1967 at the age of 87.

Pilates has continued to grow and evolve gaining almost celebrity status in the exercise world. Used by everyone from elite professional athletes to those rehabilitating form serious injury.

At North Cork Physiotherapy and Acupuncture Clinic we offer beginner, intermediate and advanced classes. We have morning and evening times; call the clinic for more details.