What is Pilates?
Pilates is a method of exercise that consists of muscular strengthening, low-impact flexibility and endurance movements. Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s where he connected springs to hospital beds, enabling bedridden patients to exercise against resistance. Pilates emphasizes proper postural alignment, core strength and muscle balance. Practicing Pilates can help transform the way your body looks, feels and performs. Pilates can build strength without excess bulk, creating a sleek and toned body.
A Pilate’s routine includes exercises that promote core strength and stability with muscle control and endurance. The practice includes exercises that help develop proper posture and movement patterns which encourage balance, flexibility and strength. The exercises train several muscle groups at once in smooth, continuous movements. Many of the exercises are performed in reclining or sitting positions, and most are low impact. Pilates is safe and is often used in physical therapy facilities to assist in rehabilitating injuries. Quality of movement that is more important that the quantity of repetitions.
Pilates requires proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and concentration where you become totally in tune with your body. Learning to breathe properly can also reduce stress.
Benefits of Pilates
By practicing Pilates regularly, you can achieve a number of health benefits, including:
- Improved core strength, stability, posture and balance
- Improved flexibility and mobility
- Helps prevent and treat back pain
- Reduces stress
Is Pilates for everyone?
Yes! But as with any new exercise regimen, it's a good idea to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program. Pilates is no exception. Similarly, women who are pregnant should check with their health care providers before starting Pilates.