Andrea Young in her Corefit studio

Andrea Young
the clinical Pilates and
functional movement specialist

Quotes underlying the Corefit ethos

Selected quotes with some background information from people who have influenced the way that I think and work.

 Quote from Joseph Pilates —

If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old. If it is completely flexible at 60, you are young

Joseph Pilates

Joseph Hubert Pilates

Joseph Pilates is the inventor of the revolutionary exercise method which now bears his name. Originally called Contrology, he developed and taught the system in his New York studio together with his wife, Clara.

The spine, for Joseph Pilates, was the key to physical and emotional well-being. Pilates develops the deep muscles of the back and abdomen to support the spine, and focuses on breathing to promote better posture.

For Pilates, correct spinal alignment is everything. One of Pilates’ clients, the dancer Martha Graham, said “The spine is the tree of life. Respect it”. And this view would certainly be one shared by Pilates. He believed that for the majority it was possible to look after the spine, through exercise and proper posture, until well into old age. Hence the idea that the condition of the spine is reflected in the youthfulness and vitality of the individual, regardless of their actual age.

 Quote from Gray Cook —

Get control, keep control and most importantly understand why

Gray Cook

Gray Cook

Gray Cookopens in external window , MSPT, OCS, CSCS is a practicing physical therapist and orthopedic-certified specialist, and is certified as a strength and conditioning specialist, as an Olympic weightlifting coach and as a kettlebell instructor. The founder of Functional Movement Systemsopens in external window, Cook lectures extensively on the concept of movement pattern screening and assessment. His work and ideas are at the forefront of fitness, conditioning, injury prevention and rehabilitation.

Gray Cook has provided guidance, workshops and tools for people like me to better understand and assist clients to achieve safe, efficient and effective movement. Notable is his Functional Movement Screen, which defines a set of simple tests to assess the health of an individual’s basic movement patterns.

Cook advocates that it’s no use undertaking a fitness programme without first examining how well the individual moves. If they have unhealthy movement patterns then the cause of those behaviours should be addressed and corrected before trying to develop further, or in his words “don’t add strength to dysfunction”.

He is the author of several books including ‘Movement’ and ‘Athletic Body in Balance’.

 Quote from Ido Portal —

The body will become better at whatever you do, or don’t do. If you don’t move, your body will make you better at not moving. If you move, your body will allow more movement

Ido Portal

Ido Portal

Ido Portalopens in external window is an Israeli movement artist, teacher and researcher

I saw Ido being interviewed a few years ago and his thoughts on movement really resonated with me. His own physical prowess is very impressive but one shouldn’t be intimidated by that.

It’s a simple idea that he promotes – that we are designed to move and should keep moving. The human body is extremely adaptable. Move more and challenge what the body can do and it will respond by adaptation to allow better, more efficient movement. Move infrequently and with poor quality and the body responds to the lack of stimulus – making you ‘better’ at moving less.

 Quote from Martha Graham —

The body is a sacred garment. It is your first and last garment; it is what you enter life in and what you depart life with, and it should be treated with honour

Martha Graham

Martha Graham

Martha Grahamopens in external window was an American modern dancer and choreographer. Her influence on contemporary dance of her techniques of movement and dynamics was genuinely revolutionary.

Considered by many to be the mother of modern dance she is a major reason why I was first drawn to the art of contemporary dance. She was a friend of Joseph Pilates during his years in New York, and sent many of her students and company dancers to him to help address injury and ailments, as well as being a client herself.

I also believe that she introduced Pilates to the idea of the ‘C-shaped back’ – think rollbacks if you are familiar with classical Pilates exercises.

It seems fitting that as my own path in movement and exercise has wound its way over the years that two very important influences on my own journey and choices should have known each other so well.