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THE ONTARION

SPORTS & HEALTH

160.10

15

IN FOCUS

Working your powerhouse Twentieth century workout focuses on your core and has numerous variations ELIZABETH MCLEOD Have you ever heard the term powerhouse in the world of physical fitness and wondered exactly what that is, where that is, or how you can work yours? Well look no further than the practice of Pilates, a unique and effective way to exercise. Pilates is a physical fitness system that was developed in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates, who throughout his life, made a living as a gymnast, diver, bodybuilder, professional boxer, circus-performer, and self-defence trainer. Needless to say, he had an excellent grasp on the workings of the human body. Pilates called the method, by which he developed the system, contrology, using the mind to control the muscles. His methods were first utilized to rehabilitate injured soldiers in World War I, and quickly gained widespread popularity. The central aims of Pilates involve attempts to create a connection between the mind and the body through principles of correct breathing, centreing, concentration, control, precision, efficiency of movement, and flexibility. Pilates exercises draw on the powerhouse region of the body, comprised of the abs and buttocks, while maintaining a series of poses. The benefits of Pilates are numerous. “Pilates works to improve flexibility, balance and posture as

well as toning and strengthening the entire body,” said Emma Morgan, fitness expert and founder of Bootcamp Athletics. “It can correct imbalances and strengthen chronic weaknesses. The exercises are easily modifiable to all fitness levels.” Other health benefits of Pilates include the reduction of stress, improvement of concentration, and increased mental awareness. A famous quote by Joseph Pilates outlines the true nature of the system as being, “the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind, fully capable of naturally performing our many daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.” Pilates is often connected or confused with the practice of Yoga. There are, however, a number of differences between the two practices. “The most obvious difference between Pilates and Yoga is how much more movement there is in Pilates exercises,” explained certified instructor Joleen Constantis. “Yoga uses static positions, whereas Pilates uses long sweeping motions to stretch as well as strengthen your body.” Pilates may also incorporate the use of various machines while Yoga is machine-free. These differences make these two workouts great complementary exercises. There have been a number of variations from the original form of Pilates. The four main schools of Pilates, which have become predominant today are, Fletcher Pilates, Stott Pilates, Power Pilates, and Winsor Pilates.

Fletcher Pilates is a method developed by a protégé of Joseph Pilates, Ron Fletcher. Now 88, Fletcher has been called ‘a true master of movement.’ His unique method incorporates all traditional Pilates concepts with his own concepts. Stott Pilates incorporates modern exercise principles, including methods of spinal rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement, in its movement. It is considered to be the safest form of Pilates due to its increased focus on the sensitive nature of the spine. You may have seen infomercials for Winsor Pilates, the third main variation. Winsor Pilates is available through a variety of at home DVDs and is known for its weight loss, body sculpting, and abdominal workout videos. It touts quick and easy toning and sculpting, as well as being a favourite amongst celebrities. Power Pilates was founded in 1989 and is the fourth and final main school of Pilates. The goal of Power Pilates is to provide classical Pilates training that honours the integrity of the methods initially developed by Joseph Pilates. Power Pilates stresses the proper education of its instructors. It emphasizes its differences from other schools of Pilates, stating that it has taken a different track right from its inception, and is neither the fastest, cheapest or easiest form. The focus of this type of Pilates is on structure and discipline. Pilates classes are offered at a variety of fitness facilities and range in level of difficulty. Most classes incorporate a combination

Daniel Julia

Pilates strengthens the body’s core region through a series of poses, combined with controlled breathing exercises of popular methods. Variations such as vertical and hot Pilates are now offered in addition to basic classes for added benefit. Classes are popular among men and

women of all ages as the benefits that this method of exercise offers are great for everyone.

SPEAK INTO THE MIKE

One last heave On

tarion

MIKE TREADGOLD It had all the makings of a modern day resurrection of the famed Bobby Baun story. An athlete, hampered by injury, returns to the field of play, braving the pain and sacrificing his body for one last heroic performance. For those who don’t know, Baun was a defenceman for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1960s. In the 1964 Stanley Cup finals, Baun fearlessly blocked a Gordie Howe slap shot, breaking his ankle and requiring him to be taken off the ice on a stretcher. Famously though, in what is widely considered one of the most heroic moments in sports history, Baun returned to the ice in that same game, aided only by ankle tape and painkillers. Baun scored the game-winning overtime goal that night, giving the Leafs a

Game 6 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, en route to their third consecutive Stanley Cup win. It was the kind of story that lives on for generations.

Michael Faulds had replayed the football version of the Bobby Brown story, and the only thing missing was the happy ending. Fast-forward 45 years to the Yates Cup, the Ontario University football championship game

played on Saturday between the Western Mustangs and Queen’s Gaels. The game featured two of the most prolific quarterbacks in CIS history with the Mustangs’ Michael Faulds and the Gaels’ Danny Brannagan going head to head. Late in the fourth quarter, with Western trailing 43-39, Faulds, the nation’s all-time passing leader, got his team on the move, having already thrown for over 500 yards in the game. After an incomplete pass on first down at the Gaels’ 25-yardline, Western fans gaped with fear. Faulds was down. His wonky knee had given out. Faulds had to be helped to the sideline by his teammates, virtually unable to walk. It was hard to tell if the pain on his face was because of his knee, or because he could no longer help his team win. With Faulds on the sideline, backup quarterback Donnie Marshall was in for four plays and struggled to take the Mustangs any further. Meanwhile, Faulds

watched in agony on the sidelines, wondering if his record-setting career would really end like this. Faulds pleaded with his head coach, Greg Marshall, begging for just one more chance to go back in. Marshall appeared reluctant to risk further injury. Down to their last chance, needing to score on a 3rd-and-20 play with just 17 seconds left, Marshall caved and out trotted Michael Faulds. Except Michael Faulds didn’t jog out to the huddle. He limped. Unable to put virtually any weight on his left knee, the Mustangs leader could barely stand. Watching the game on television, the stories I’d heard about Baun raced through my head and a lump formed in my throat. This was truly sports heroism at its finest. As Faulds took the snap, he tried to go into his usual five-step drop into the pocket. The Gaels’ pass rush burst through the line and got a hold of Faulds’ leg. With a desperate heave, Faulds fearlessly

threw the ball downfield, barely out of reach of wide receiver Zach Bull. The game was over. Western was defeated. Michael Faulds had replayed the football version of the Bobby Baun story, and the only thing missing was the happy ending. As a tireless Gryphon supporter, I felt strange cheering for Michael Faulds on Saturday. I’ve cheered against him for five years when the Mustangs visited Alumni Stadium to take on the Gryphs. But for this brief moment in time, he had my support. For all things that are good in sports, I wanted him to succeed. I wanted that happy ending, but it just wasn’t meant to be. In future years, people will look at this game and may only remember it for the fact that it was the Gaels’ first Yates Cup victory in 31 years. With all due respect to Queen’s, however, this game belonged to Michael Faulds – Mustang quarterback and a gridiron warrior.

November 19th 2009  

The Ontarion`s 10th issue.