What is Pilates?

What is PilatesPilates is a system of exercising that strengthens the whole body using a wide variety of exercises. It was created by German-born Joseph Pilates (1880-1967), a man whose sickly childhood led to a determination to find a way to live a long and healthy life.

Joseph named his system "Contrology" to describe the method of training the mind to take greater control of the body. After his death (at the age of 87) the system gradually became known as "Pilates" and was spread by his wife Clara and his protégés.

Today it is practiced around the world by millions of people and is integrated into the training schedules of top athletes such as Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong and Roger Federer.

The 6 principles of Pilates

  1. Centering
  2. Concentration
  3. Control
  4. Precision
  5. Breath
  6. Flow

Benefits of Pilates

Pilates creates many benefits when faithfully practiced:

  • Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing.
  • Develop positive body awareness.
  • Significant improvement posture, balance and body alignment.
  • Increase flexibility, strength and control.
  • Develop long, lean and toned muscles without adding bulk.
  • Relieve stress and tension.
  • Prevent muscle and soft tissues injury.
  • Prevent muscle and soft tissues injury.

Mat or machine?

Some Pilates exercises require machines in order to be performed and others can be done on mats (without machines). Group Pilates classes are almost always performed on mats while one-to-one lessons normally make use of the specifically designed Pilates machines.

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