Swan Dive

Swan Dive is one of the original Pilates exercises featured in the Return o Life through Contrology book by Joseph Pilates. This exercise strengthens back muscles and requires considerable upper back flexibility. One performing Swan Dive on the mat be careful to not hinge in the lower back. Keep your core contracted (as if you were trying to pull your navel away from an ice cube underneath your belly) and initiate back extension from the thoracic region.

Pilates for Men or Women?

pilates duet
One of the biggest misconceptions about Pilates is that this method is designed only for women. Pilates (or Contrology as it was called by the creator of the method) was developed by a MAN – Joseph Pilates. He first started using his system of exercises in England as a self defense instructor for Scotland Yard detectives. At the outbreak of World War I, Joe was interned as an “enemy alien” with other German nationals. During his internment, Joe refined his ideas and trained other internees in his system of exercise. He rigged springs to hospital beds, enabling bedridden patients to exercise against resistance, an innovation that led to his later equipment designs. An influenza epidemic struck England in 1918, killing thousands of people, but not a single one of Joe’s trainees died. This, he claimed, testified to the effectiveness of his system.

After Joseph Pilates and his wife Clara moved to the US the Method received recognition among dancers in NYC. This turn of events secured a more “feminine” image for the Pilates method.

Pilates Star

Star is an advanced Pilates exercise performed on the Reformer. In order to prepare for the Star on the Reformer we can first practice it on the mat. This exercise requires complete control of the body and a strong connection to the powerhouse. Recent studies have shown that performing Star on the mat every day can improve scoliosis.

Pilates High Bridge

pilates high bridge
High Bridge is a super advanced Pilates exercise that is performed on a Reformer. This exercise is a true test of the strength of your core as well as back flexibility.
Before you attempt High Bridge on the Reformer you can practice it on the floor or with a spine corrector.