Pilates is an exercise and body-toning regime that got its name from its creator, Joseph Pilates. The exercises that he created help practitioners develop flexibility and core strength. Stott Pilates® is a contemporary form that takes its name from its creator, Moira Merrithew, who used her maiden name, Stott, to identify her particular Pilates exercise system. These exercises build on Joseph Pilates’ foundation with techniques that protect the spine and keep the pelvis in the correct position.
Moira Merrithew learned the original Pilates method exercises from Romana Kryzanowska, a former ballet dancer, like Merrithew. Kryzanowska studied directly under Joseph Pilates. After Joseph Pilates died in 1967, Kryzanowska was the first Pilates Method student to operate a studio teaching his techniques, or True Pilates.
The refinements that Stott Pilates® has made for its exercise system are based on advice from fitness professionals, physical therapists and sports medicine experts. This has led to the development of exercises that can be adapted to various body types. Stott Pilates® also has routines that are suitable for pregnant women and people who have physical challenges, such as the elderly. These routines also meet the physical fitness needs of professional athletes and people who require rehabilitation.
The Stott Pilates® method features breathing exercises that improve circulation. All exercises focus on head and spine position, correct pelvic position, shoulder and scapula movement, along with rib cage position. Stott Pilates® also emphasizes exercises that enhance the spine's natural curve instead of a flattened back. The preliminary exercises and complete routines also help practitioners develop shoulder stability and improve joint flexibility.
Stott Pilates® promises a number of benefits, such as improved mind-body balance, coordination and circulation. A stronger core helps improve posture and decrease the incidence of injury. The low-impact exercise routines do not put stress on body joints. It is easy to combine Stott Pilates® with other exercise routines such a weight training or aerobics. To learn the Stott Pilates® method, one can attend classes taught by a certified trainer or purchase a video from the Stott Pilates® website or retailers.
Many original Pilates routines require only comfortable clothing and a mat, but Stott Pilates® exercises rely on various forms of resistance to intensify the effect of toning bodywork. Commonly used accessories and equipment include exercise balls, rings and resistance bands. The Pilates Reformer, a machine that helps with body alignment and creates resistance, replaces the mat in some Stott Pilates® routines.