Pilates is a physical fitness system developed by Joseph Hubertus Pilates, a 20th century Greek, German born man, who suffered from rheumatic fever and asthma as a child.
He overcame his illness through meditation and exercise and grew up in a physical culture where special apparatuses were used to cure ill health. His father was a prize-winning gymnast and his mother was a naturopath. He studied exercise and Yoga and came to believe that mental and physical health were interrelated.
Joe became stuck in Britain during the war and started teaching trapped Germans about his exercise technique which he then called Contrology. He was part scientist, part mechanical genius, and part anatomist and designed exercises and machines to universally reform the body. The Reformer is still the most used piece of apparatus today!
In 2005 there were 11 million people practicing the Pilates Method, mostly in the US and United Kingdom.
“I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.”
– Joseph Pilates, in 1965, age 86.
The 6 Pilates Principles
» CONCENTRATION – one must concentrate all of the time
» CONTROL – one must control every movement
» CENTERING – the center, also called the powerhouse, is the focal point of Pilates
» FLOW OR EFFICIENCY OF MOVEMENT– physical energy should flow from the center core to the extremities in smooth, flowing transitions
» PRECISION – one precise movement is better than many halfhearted ones
» BREATHING – proper breathing cleanses & invigorates through blood circulation; it is lateral through the rib cage
The Megaformer is the machine, and a method, developed by Sebastien Lagree, whose background includes Pilates, bodybuilding, 30 yrs of research + inventing! His high intensity, low-impact workouts fill a gap in a unique, fun and challenging way (see bottom two photos).
The Megaformer machine is a pumped-up version of a Pilates reformer, with more bells and whistles and therefore new opportunities for movement and challenge. The Megaformer method stands on its own; the exercise are purposefully slow and repeat for at least one minute, fatiguing your muscles and burning fat more efficiently from other forms of exercise.
For more information on the man, the machine and the science, visit www.lagreefitness.com.