Let’s Talk About Pilates

by Susan Donovan Group and Virtual Exercise Manager JCC of Greater New Haven

Still a buzz word,Pilates continues to be a popular form of core training. It is an innovative, safe system of exercise that uses a variety of props and equipment (or apparatus as it is called) in addition to being done using just a floor mat. Evolving decades ago from the principles of Joseph Pilates, who first called the method Contrology, it can dramatically transform the way your body looks, feels and performs. Because Pilates builds strength without bulking up, it has a steady following, especially with women.

LONG, LEAN MUSCLES AND FLEXIBILITY While more traditional work outs are weight -bearing and tend to build bulky muscles, the Pilates method of exercise elongates and strengthens while improving joint mobility, balance and flexibility.

STRONG CORE AND PAIN-FREE BACK Your core consists of the deep and superficial abdominal muscles as well as the smaller muscles close to the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle. Control of this “core cylinder” teaches the body to stabilize from your center, which translates to a stronger foundation and less risk of injury. Often prescribed as a therapy to alleviate back pain and other joint issues, Pilates training helps to develop proper technique in efficient movement patterns, which makes the method ideal for sports performance and injury recovery. And, yes, men also reap the benefits!

GENTLE AND CHALLENGING Many exercises performed in reclining positions on a mat or piece of apparatus are low-impact and designed with modifications to address all ages and fitness levels.

A GREAT MIND / BODY WORKOUT Because the workout trains several muscle groups at once in smooth continuous movements utilizing the breath, it teaches focus, control and a deeper sense of body awareness. If you want to improve your posture, and become more flexible and agile while developing a stronger core and back, give this results driven workout a try.

The JCC Pilates Studio is staffed with experienced, certified Pilates teachers.Contact susand@jccnh.org for a free visit

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