Pilates at Island Fitness Today by Jordan Wagner

I'm excited to lead the Pilates program at Island Fitness because I have gained such great results from Pilates myself. I've been teaching Pilates since 2016, and practicing it since 2011. My personal experience has helped me put together a beneficial program that people of all levels and abilities can enjoy. 

I was first introduced to Pilates in 2011 after I pulled a hamstring during a lacrosse game at Notre Dame de Namur University. I was completely sidelined by the injury for five weeks. I played the last month of the season while still in pain, and my speed and lower body strength were decreased significantly by the injury.

When I returned home from school for summer break, I was determined to rehab myself, prepare for the next season, and come back better than before. My mom was already teaching Pilates at the time. I was skeptical at first, mainly because I had never tried this type of exercise. But I could tell after the first few sessions that Pilates was already addressing my injury and helping me recover. 

By the end of the summer I was stronger than before my injury, and went back to school in the fall ready to go. I worked hard to earn my teammates' respect and was voted a captain my junior year. Pilates allowed me to rehabilitate and become stronger, it brought my athleticism to another level, and I earned all-conference honors during my Junior season, just one year after the bad hamstring pull.

Joe Pilates originally designed the program for military men, boxers, and weight lifters in need of recovery. But after bringing Pilates to the US in the 1940s, his fist studio happened to be located next door to a dance academy. The dancers were immediately attracted to the movement principles and low impact nature of the exercise. Dance is hard on body with the extremes that dancers put themselves through for a strong performance, and Pilates gave them a way to unload the impact and work on imbalances and recovery.

But Pilates is not just for dancers. Pilates is for everyone! Pilates is a type of exercise that you can do into old age. It benefits both men and women. It helps increase flexibility and mobility, which are hard to do with just weightlifting, or just cardio. Pilates focuses on breathing, concentration, control, centering, precision, balanced muscle movement, rhythm/ flow, whole body movement, and relaxation. The principle movements of Pilates promote stabilizing your torso and pelvis, which in turn stabilize your spine. 

Come to Island Fitness and try a Pilates Mat class from the group fitness menu, or a Pilates Reformer small group session with individualized instruction. Our Pilates studio is specifically designed for Pilates classes, and the seclusion of the room allows for quiet concentration. It has four reformers, so classes are small, with a ratio of four students to one instructor. We also offer private one-on-one classes for a more personalized experience.