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Meet Pilates Instructor Dr. Fred Mosby

photo via Wkimedia Commons

Pilates is not a new type of fitness regime by any means. On the contrary, it’s been around since the late 1800s. Yet Pilates has evolved over the years while interest has grown. We had the chance to ask instructor Dr. Fred Mosby a few questions about Pilates, and learn how he got started.

RECORD: What is Pilates and why is Pilates good for you?
Dr. Fred:  The original Pilates was designed in Germany in 1884 by Joseph Pilates who put an emphasis on spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing, and developing a strong core or center, and improving coordination and balance. Many of the first users of Pilates were dancers, who studied with Joseph Pilates and went on to open the first studios. Modern day Pilates has evolved and new "contemporary" forms use props like small-weighted balls, foam rollers, large exercise balls, rotating disks, and resistance bands.
Pilates is good for you because it builds core strength, balance, flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance in the legs, abdominals, arms, hips, and back. Anyone can practice it from youth to senior citizens, even those who have not exercised in a long time.

RECORD:  How does Pilates work?
Dr. Fred:  Pilates works under six original principles:
·         Concentration - Pilates demands intense focus. You have to concentrate on what you're doing all the time and concentrate on your entire body movement.
  • Control - All exercises are done with control, with the muscles working to lift against gravity and any resistance.
·         Center/Core - Centering encompasses the abdomen, lower and upper back, hips, buttocks, and inner thighs, the "Core."
·         Flow - All movement begins from the core and flows outward to the limbs. Pilates is a flowing movement outward from a strong core.
·         Precision – The focus is on doing one precise and perfect movement at a time.
·         Breathing – The forced exhalation is the key to full inhalation. The practitioner breathes out forcefully with the effort and in on the return.
RECord:  How is Pilates different than using weights at the gym or yoga?
Dr. Fred: Pilates focuses on developing balance, core strength, and stabilization and learning to use the core in all daily movement activities.

RECord:  Have you always been interested in fitness?
 Dr. Fred:  I am certified as a Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I teach Personal Training, Weight Training, BOSU, and Pilates on the Ball fitness classes with Montgomery County Recreation. In 2011, I earned a doctorate with high honors in Natural Health from the premiere school for “traditional” Naturopathic Medicine, Clayton College of Natural Health. My focus is to be healthy and to teach others to be healthy.

RECord:  How did you get started with Pilates?
 Dr. Fred:  In 2004, while I was a personal trainer I realized that many of my typical clients were sedentary and returning to exercise after long absences. I also discovered, and research has verified, that the intensity level required by a sedentary person just trying to improve their cardiorespiratory fitness would be too much for most clients.

Optimum Performance Training like Pilates can re-introduce deconditioned clients to appropriate forms of core stabilization, balance, flexibility, and increasing their strength and endurance.