What is Pilates?
Developed in the 1920’s by physical trainer Joseph H. Pilates, Pilates is a total body exercise program that improves strength and flexibility without building bulk.
The benefits of Pilates include:
Strong abdominals and core
Toned, long lean musculature
Increase flexibility Reduced stress on joints
Increased mind/body awareness to improve coordination for sports
Pilates is intelligent exercise. For many, the movement feels so good that it becomes a life-long practice. People who practice Pilates develop exquisite body-mind awareness, muscular strength, and flexibility. These same people may have chronic illnesses yet they have come to the ultimate achievement in gracefully managing their health.
Who can do Pilates?
At The Christ Hospital Pilates Studio, we serve both athletes and individuals who are recovering from an injury or surgery.
Men and women of all fitness levels, ages and backgrounds can do Pilates. The exercises can be modified for various body types, comfort levels and physical conditions. Our Pilates instructors can customize a workout for you on the Pilates equipment or on a mat so you can work out at home.
Many professional dancers and athletes of all levels find benefits in doing Pilates to condition their bodies and prevent injuries.
Semi-private personal training on the Pilates equipment as well as mat instruction are available. A physician’s prescription is required for individuals seeking Pilates for physical therapy. A prescription is not necessary for individual seeking basic Pilates instruction. To schedule an appointment, please call 513-585-1069. Be sure to let us know if you are scheduling an appointment for physical therapy services.
Introductory Private session: $45 each (one-hour session)
Introductory Private package: $135 (three, one-hour sessions)
Private session: $55 each (one-hour session)
Private package: $400 (eight, one-hour sessions)
Semi-privates: two to three people per session
Semi-private session: $38 (one-hour session)
Semi-private package: $288 (eight, one-hour sessions)
Single class: $22
Package of eight classes: $160
Mat Class: 50 minutes
Single class: $15
Package of four classes: $50
Pilates yields numerous benefits such as:
- increased spine mobility (Carr & Day 2004),
- increased muscle flexibility (Schroeder et al 2002, Otto et al 2004, Rogers et al 2005, Segal et al 2004),
- improved muscular endurance (Sewright 2004, Rogers 2005),
- improved posture (McMillan, 1998)
- improved tennis serve velocity (Sewright 2004)
- improved body awareness (Lange 2000),
- decreased low back pain (Anderson 2006),
- reduction in the need for lumbar surgeries (Cohen 2006),
- improved bone density (Betz 2005),
- improved ability to correctly contract the Transversus Abdominus (Herrington & Davis 2005),
- improved pelvic control (Herrington & Davis 2005)
- improved recruitment of Rectus Abdominus and External Oblique muscles (Esco et al 2005),
- decreased lumbar paraspinal muscle activity in subjects with low back pain. (Quinn 2005)
Pilates Equipment Used At The Christ Hospital Pilates Studio
The reformer teaches us the principles of Pilates movement in an assisted way. A moving platform (called the carriage) is connected to springs. It guides us into smooth movement to create long, lean muscles. Our bodies respond to the unique pull of the springs. It feels different from any other form of exercise or movement. We respond with excitement, enthusiasm, and muscles that feel stretched and worked. Specifically, the reformer guides us toward: leg and hip alignment, assisted stretching, supported abdominal work, articulation of each vertebrae, resistance training, and the use of the breath and core muscles to create movement.
The Wunda Chair
The Wunda Chair was originally developed by Joseph Pilates to double as a piece of furniture for an enthusiastic client who had a tiny New York apartment. Legend has it that Mr. Pilates created the Wunda Chair after being inspired by Chinese acrobats seen in a New York performance.
The Wunda Chair teaches upper body strength and stabilization. For example, a push up can be done with the body suspended in mid-air, hands on the bar. No other piece of equipment demands such enormous abdominal strength to perform a movement well.
The High Barrel
The High Barrel offers a range of exercises and stretches, from a quadriceps stretch that cannot be duplicated anywhere else, to highly sophisticated swan movements for spinal extension.
Performing artists often use a high barrel. It teaches articulation of the spine so that each vertebrae carries its weight equally, preventing pressure at one joint.
The Cadillac (or Trapeze Table)
Most Pilates students consider the Cadillac to be their favorite piece of equipment. Joseph Pilates was known for saying, “We call it the Cadillac because it is everything and it does everything.” When a client first started working with Joseph Pilates, they would perform one movement – the straight leg roll down – for weeks (or longer) until they were able to individually articulate each vertebrae.
Then, they were considered eligible to progress to other movements. A few names of exercises on the Cadillac: Swan, Cat, Teaser, Mermaid, Parakeet, Hip Opener, Punching, Hug-a-Tree, Twist, Butterfly, Lunge, Frog, Scissors, Flying Eagle, Magician, and Airplane. The exercises are as intriguing as their names would suggest.
The Fletcher Towel
Ron Fletcher is one of the original students of Joseph Pilates. As a Martha Graham dancer, Ron recognized that Joseph taught with the highest level of perfection and focus. Joseph taught Ron ‘Contrology’ exercises to solve a dance injury. As with many of us, the movement felt new, unique, and invigorating. And so, Ron is now in his 80’s with a full Ron Fletcher Program of Study for aspiring teachers. A feature, currently under copyright of the Ron Fletcher program, is the Fletcher Towel which is used in standing movement.
To watch a flowing piece of Towel Work, you will see beautiful articulation of the spine in dancer-like movement. For those of us who seek to solve postural imbalances, the towel work helps to open the chest, work the upper back muscles, and release upper body tissue that is too tight. It also teaches correct spinal rotation for those who are interested in rotational sports such as golf or tennis.
The Magic Circle is a very effective, portable tool used to teach upper body strength, inner thigh work (adductors), outer thigh work (abductors), abdominal work, spinal mechanics (especially rotation and lateral movement), as well as gluteal work. We recommend learning a sequence of movements with the Magic Circle. Then, you can pack it in your suitcase for use after a long flight or drive. Use of Pilates over time can create the feel of our body as a finely tuned instrument. We have heightened awareness as to when we feel tight or contracted after long days of travel and meetings. The Magic Circle is a great tool to ease tension and help us return to normal.
Traditionally, Mat Work is a flow of 32 movements designed to be performed in an exact sequence. Mat Work is the most difficult form of Pilates as it challenges every part of our body and it is done without the assistance of equipment. A dedicated Pilates student will practice several years before gaining the mastery of each movement as well as the endurance to complete the full sequence. At our Pilates Studio we teach Mat Work in a slow, concise way so that the fundamentals of each movement are understood intellectually and in our body. Mat Work is taught individually and in a class setting.
Fletcher Floor Work
The Fletcher Floor Work was created by Ron Fletcher to provide needed variation to the Mat Work. Much of this Floor Work was published in his book, “Every Body is Beautiful,” which features Ron’s Hollywood clients such as Ali McGraw and Shirley McClain.
The Fletcher Floor Work curriculum consists of 97 exercises, which create a range of movement from teaching fundamentals to accomplishing elegant, sophisticated dance-like movement. It is enjoyed by those who love a flowing, artfully-crafted yet challenging hour of exercise.