"Physical fitness is the first prerequisite of happiness." - J.H Pilates (1886 - 1967)
Pilates is a method which aims to create a balance in the body. It is designed to cater for the needs of the individual. Many forms of exercise create tightening of certain muscles while overstretching others. The Pilates Institute Training works to correct this imbalance.
The Menezes Method of Pilates is vastly different to other styles of Pilates taught elsewhere throughout the world. It is this difference that sets the Menezes Method apart from the current Pilates Method and gains results for back and other problems.
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The Pilates Institute Training provides a greater understanding of the positioning of the body during each exercise being performed. Certain muscle groups are isolated so no unnecessary energy is expended. In this way maximum performance is being achieved through focused effort on specific muscles. Weak muscles are strengthened and bulky muscles are elongated.
Josef Pilates (pronounced Pi-lah-tees) developed exercise programs in the early 1900’s which he found assisted dancers with their performance by improving muscle balance, flexibility, coordination and especially helping with their injuries. He was born in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1888 and died in New York in 1967.
Allan Menezes first discovered Pilates in London in 1982. After several months he moved on to the Alan Herdman Studios where he learned some of the best grounding in the Method ever encountered. Herdman is one of the Master Teachers of the Method and introduced Pilates into the UK. Two years previously, while studying for a business degree at university, Menezes had injured his back in a rugby game.
The injury was so severe that he lay in a hospital bed for ten days and only allowed liquids for nourishment. The diagnosis at the time was a slipped disc. X-rays showed no abnormalities and no scans were taken. His own conclusion was that the muscles on the left of the spinal column had been so badly ruptured that any pressure on that side caused extreme pain in the lower back. For the following two years he attended almost every different practitioner he could think of who would have some hope of alleviating the pain.
Then, in London, Menezes’ father handed him an introductory voucher for a ‘new’ method of exercise that was being taught in a small, basement studio. Little did Menezes know that the method was 70 years new! After attending classes every day for six weeks his back pain disappeared! Regular sessions followed for the next two to three years and the back pain has not returned to this day. He was an instant convert. The one drawback was that Menezes’ original instructors had very little anatomical or athletic knowledge. They could not explain the whys and wherefores of a movement and its application to him as an (ex)athlete.
Menezes then devised his own routines for improving my squash, volleyball, etc. and programs for other fitness enthusiasts. These proved to be popular as more exertion was required and the routines became hard work. (Many years later he discovered, from a CAT scan, that he had actually herniated his disc at L4/L5!, but had been living pain free owing to the regular daily workouts he had committed himself to in the first three years of his Pilates training.)
It was in 1986 that Menezes then established the first Pilates studio in the southern hemisphere with the Body Control Pilates Studios in Sydney. (There is no connection with any other studios with the same, or similar, names outside Australia). In 1994, after setting up 2 more studios, he established the first true franchise of a Pilates studio and in 1996 the Pilates Institute of Australasia was established. This Institute was created to cater for the growing demand for quality training and to provide accredited workshops and courses in the Pilates Method. Menezes was also a founding member of the Institute for the Pilates Method, now the PhysicalMind Institute of Santa Fé, New Mexico, USA.
In 1998 Menezes wrote the bestseller, “The Complete Guide to the Pilates Method”. He has also produced 17 DVD titles on the Pilates Method. As the demand for Pilates continues to grow, Menezes feels these will be an invaluable tools for those wishing to reduce those niggling aches and pains, for those wishing to become familiar with the basics steps in sensible body maintenance and even those embarking on a career in the growing Pilates industry. Menezes specific style is a basis of, not only perfection in movement, but also a requirement for the next step into exercising for physical rehabilitation. He now calls this the Menezes Pilates Training Method
The eight principles of Menezes Pilates Training are:
Given these basic principles, the Menezes Pilates Training can be summarised as :
“A few well designed movements properly performed in a balanced sequence are worth hours of doing sloppy callisthenics or forced contortions”
The Menezes Pilates Training Method is useful for rehabilitation following injury or for those suffering lower back problems.
Menezes Pilates Training enables exercises to be performed without using the problem area initially, until supporting muscles are strengthened effectively to assist the area to be rehabilitated.
The Pilates Institute has initiated its own unique Specific Sports Performance Training (SSPT) method for all sport professionals and enthusiasts.
The SSPT Program can greatly improve sporting performance at all levels, either professional or amateur. Whatever the sport, the SSPT Program can significantly aid in attaining better athletic performance. Remember, tone and strength do not have to suffer because of injury.
With the Pilates Institute Training you don’t just do exercises: you follow a method specific to the needs of your body.