Pilates offers physical, mental training
Aug. 26 Wellness Wednesday, held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the
Children’s Hospital lobby, will offer demonstrations on Pilates.
by Gina C. Smith and Jessica Becker
Want to stand taller, feel stronger, and lose inches? If so, then
Pilates may be the exercise for you. Did you know there is a Pilates
apparatus studio right here at MUSC? The Pilates Studio, located inside
the Harper Student Wellness Center, has been helping people feel better
for years. Pilates is a method of physical and mental training that can
benefit men and women of any age or fitness level.
Joseph Pilates developed this method first to rehabilitate himself as a
weak child, and later to rehabilitate soldiers while working as an
interned nurse on the Isle of Man during WWI. After immigrating to the
United States, Pilates continued to share his method and decades later
his exercise regimen continues to help millions get fit and feel
How it works
Pilates develops core strength by using the muscles of the pelvis,
trunk and shoulder girdle to stabilize the body, thereby providing a
solid foundation for all movement. It promotes proper posture and
movement by focusing on alignment and strengthening the core
stabilizing muscles. Effectively stabilizing your core while using
proper breath to execute flowing movement requires a great deal of
focus and control. The method was originally called Contrology but
later became Pilates, to honor Joseph Pilates.
Pilates tones and strengthens the muscles without creating bulk. An
efficient and effective exercise, Pilates emphasizes quality over
quantity of movement. Used by many as a form of rehabilitation to treat
repetitive stress injuries, postural imbalances and many joint
injuries, Pilates exercises increase lung capacity and circulation,
improve coordination, and can simultaneously energize and promote
“A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced
sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced
con-tortion,” said Pilates. “In 10 sessions, you will feel the
difference. In 20, you will see the difference. And in 30, you’ll be on
your way to having a whole new body.”
Who can benefit
While celebrities and professional athletes, including Tiger Woods, the
Charleston RiverDogs and members of Cirque du Soleil help publicize the
benefits of Pilates, the exercise is equally effective for
less-athletic individuals. Pregnant women, individuals with
osteoporosis and the average person whose back aches from spending
hours working at a desk also can benefit from Pilates.
The Pilates Studio located in the Harper Student Wellness Center offers individualized instruction on apparatus equipment.
In an apparatus session, you can expect to perform focused movements
led by a certified instructor in a private or semi-private setting. The
Pilates equipment provides weight-bearing exercise effective in
building muscle and enhancing flexibility that is safe on the joints.
Instructors from the Pilates Studio will be at Wellness Wednesday
between 10-2 on Aug. 26 in the Children’s Hospital and Sept. 2 in
Ashley River Tower, to demonstrate Pilates exercises and offer free
20-minute trial sessions. Stop by for more information and to enter the
raffle to win a free private Pilates session on the apparatus. Wellness
Center members and MUSC students/residents receive a discount, though
non-members are also welcome in the studio.
For information, call 792-9702.
note: The preceding column was brought to you on behalf of Health 1st.
Striving to bring various topics and representing numerous employee
wellness organizations and committees on campus, this weekly column
seeks to provide MUSC, MUHA and UMA employees with current and helpful
information concerning all aspects of health.
Friday, Aug. 21, 2009