St. Luke’s Hospital offers Pilates classes, start May 18

Published 4:22 pm Friday, May 15, 2015

Pilates is a form of exercise, developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s, which emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility, and awareness in order to support efficient, graceful movement.

Core strength is the foundation of Pilates exercise. The core muscles are the deep, internal muscles of the abdomen and back. When the core muscles are strong and doing their job, as they are trained to do in Pilates, they work in tandem with the more superficial muscles of the trunk to support the spine and movement.

Pilates is one of the most popular exercise systems in the country. One of the best things about the Pilates method is that it works so well for a wide range of people. Athletes and dancers love it, as do seniors, women rebounding from pregnancy, and people who are at various stages of physical rehabilitation. All exercises are developed with modifications that can make a workout safe and challenging for a person at any level.

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There are six Pilates principles: centering, control, flow, breath, precision and concentration. These six Pilates principles are essential ingredients in a high quality Pilates workout. The Pilates method has always emphasized quality over quantity, and you will find that, unlike many systems of exercise, Pilates exercises do not include a lot of repetitions for each move. Instead, doing each exercise fully, with precision, yields significant results in a shorter time than you would ever imagine.

Core strength and torso stability, along with the six Pilates principles, set the Pilates method apart from many other types of exercise. Weight lifting, for example, can put a lot of attention on arm or leg strength without attending much to the fact that those parts are connected to the rest of the body!

Even running or swimming can seem like all arms and legs, with either a floppy or overly tense core. Ultimately those who really succeed at their sport learn to use their core muscles, but in Pilates this integrative approach is learned from the beginning.

Interested in learning more? Been looking for a Pilates class to join? You can sign up for Pilates classes at St. Luke’s Hospital with Margaret Schneider, PT. Margaret became interested in Pilates while finishing a masters program. She is a Peak Pilates Comprehensive Certified Instructor with 455 hours of training.

Classes will be held at St. Luke’s Hospital in the Rehabilitation Services Center, May 18 and June 1, 8, 15 & 29, at 5:15 p.m. Each session will cost $12, or you can purchase a class card that includes 10 classes, for $80.

It’s important to note that before you start attending the weekly Pilates classes, you are required to attend four, one-on-one sessions with the instructor to learn the basics of Pilates. These classes are $100 total for all four classes. For questions or to sign up, call 828-894-8419.

– Submitted by Jennifer Wilson