Did you know? Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates over a 40-year or more period in the early part of the 20th century. According to Wikipedia, Joseph Pilates was a sickly child born in 1883. Joseph’s father, who was an enthusiastic gymnast (his full-time job was a metal worker) introduced Joseph to gymnastics, body-building, martial arts and boxing. By the age of 14, Joseph was fit enough to be the poster-boy for anatomical charts.
Throughout his life he continued to make a living being a gymnast, bodybuilder, a one-time professional boxer, a circus performer and even a self-defense trainer at police schools and Scotland Yard in the UK. And he never stopped teaching his revolutionary exercise techniques, believing that poor posture, and having a poor awareness of breath and alignment of spine go hand-in-hand with poor health. In 1925, Joseph Pilates immigrated to the United States and on the ship, he met his future wife Clara. Together, they founded a studio in New York City which directly taught their students this comprehensive system of physical exercises, which Joseph termed ‘Contrology’, well into the late 1960s when he finally passed, age 83.
This teaching culminated in 1945 with the publication of his first book, ‘Return to Life through Contrology’; where Joseph Pilates presented their method as the art of controlled movements and if practiced with consistency, Pilates will be able to improve one’s flexibility, build strength and develop control and endurance in the entire body. As of 2005 in the US alone, more than 11 million people practice Pilates regularly every day.
For this month’s Tueetor Spotlight we are pleased to present Miss Joey Ang, Tueetor’s Featured Trainer for Pilates, an avid passionate trainer who believes that Pilates can transform lives.
Tell us a little about yourself
Hi! I’m Joey. I’m 27 this year and have been practicing and teaching Pilates full-time for 4 years. I’m a fully-certified Pilates instructor in all Pilates equipment – Mat, Reformer, Chair, Cadillac & Barrel.
What inspires you to be a Pilates trainer?
I came to know about Pilates during a school internship opportunity. Back then, I had chronic back and shoulder pains due to long hours of dancing. After trying my first Pilates Reformer class, I immediately felt the benefits of the workout on my body and that’s when I fell in love with Pilates. I decided to make it my career to spread the benefits of Pilates to others like me!
Would you like to do this freelance career full-time?
Yes, and for many years to come 🙂
What are your biggest strengths for being a Pilates trainer?
I think my biggest strength is in understanding what my clients’ needs are and relating the importance of certain movements to their needs, so they get more from their workout. Not just moving that way just because it feels good or that I said so, but moving because it benefits your body in a specific way. I also give lots of positive encouragement in class because everyone’s journey is different – you never know what someone is going through.
Why is Pilates important?
Pilates is a functional workout – it works the muscles that stabilise our body, so that we can perform day-to-day activities with a lesser risk of injury. Most of us have muscle imbalances between the left and right, front and back of our bodies. This imbalance causes a lot of accumulated stress and overload on muscles and joints, resulting in unwanted aches and pains. There are many benefits of Pilates – but in a nutshell, Pilates helps to rehabilitate the body through exercises performed with mind-body connection.
How do you recognize the needs of the beginners/more experienced students and how do you manage mixed ability groups of students?
I like to teach small group classes (maximum of 8 pax) so that I can easily identify the strengths and weaknesses of the class.
In the first 10 minutes of warm-up, I scan the room to watch how each client performs the exercises to have a rough idea of their ability.
There is always a way to regress and progress each exercise, and I always give the class options to make each exercise easier or harder.
What is the most rewarding part of being a Pilates trainer?
The most rewarding part of my job is to know that I’m helping my clients to lead a happier life – whether it’s to relieve their pain, provide an alternative workout solution, or achieve their fitness goals.
Where do you see the future of Pilates heading?
The future of Pilates is bright! Most people can’t spend all their life doing high impact, high intensity workouts. Our joints wear out, or we sustain some form of injury, especially on the knees and the back. Pilates provides a safe option to work out and get back in tune with our body.
And last but certainly not the least, can you tell us what do you think of Tueetor?
Tueetor is a wonderful platform to match students to teachers – it allows for much flexibility, especially for freelancers. I hope more people will know about Tueetor!