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What is Pilates?

Posted in: Pilates | By: Rodrigo | No Comments


Pilates has been a buzzword for several years. It seems like everyone knows someone who is doing Pilates. Television and movies often talk of Pilates, athletes are using it for their conditioning, seniors are using it in their rehabilitation. So people are asking, what is Pilates and why is it so great?

Pilates is a group of exercises designed to improve core strength, flexibility and body awareness. The emphasis is on training the body as an integrated whole. Exercises are performed with attention paid to precision versus quantity. It focuses on strengthening and elongating muscles, which when they are balanced, good posture is easily attained allowing for ideal alignment and movement of the joints. Pilates develops strength, stability, flexibility, balance, posture, improved breathing and inner body awareness.

Joseph Pilates, born in 1883, developed the system and idea of “Pilates”. He suffered from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever as a child and was able to overcome his physical limitations by developing his own program of exercises, which he called “Contrology”, now known as Pilates. His exercises show the influence of his studies of yoga, boxing, martial arts and Eastern and Western philosophies. He was convinced that in order to be “healthy” there must be a balance of mental and physical strength.

Joe was well ahead of his time in terms of understanding the importance of muscle balance and the use of the core muscles. He developed several pieces of exercise equipment, which compliments the mat exercises (exercises performed without equipment). Joe was an inventor and he arguably created the first home gym with his invention of the wunda chair, which was also a piece of furniture.

The Pilates method is not merely a regimen of mindless repeated exercises but rather a method to achieving full body health. Joe wrote, ” Physical fitness if the first requisite to happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.” Now who wouldn’t like to go about their day with spontaneous zest and pleasure!

The Pilates system of exercises is a truly wonderful form of exercise. Keep posted for more Pilates information. If you have any questions about if Pilates is right for your or if you want information about private lessons or classes please don’t hesitate to give us a call!

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