Pilates is a mind and body exercise that has entered the fitness world over the last decade and has been garnering a steady stream of fans over the years. This exercise method was introduced and developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. Pilates is most popular for its ability to develop strength, flexibility and muscle tone without bulking up, which is every woman’s dream. It also improves coordination which is very important for professional athletes and older adults.
Basically, Pilates works on your core strength since most of the exercises require your body’s balance and stability. Joseph Pilates, the founder, firmly believes that by improving your body according to its anatomical composition, your overall health will follow. Although some positions in a Pilates class may seem daunting to you, you will be amazed how quickly your body will respond and adjust to these positions once practiced. Seniors having flexibility issues can benefit from this low-impact, core-strengthening exercise.
The idea behind Pilates is to maximize all existing muscles in the body. Our daily activities don’t necessarily allow movements to certain parts in our body and because of this, we usually depend on those we normally use and neglect others that will require us to move out of our comfort zones. We need these immobile muscles to strengthen so that our body can easily stabilize itself and balance without wear on the other muscles.
By far, Pilates is the most popular exercise method that ever existed and it can be done by almost everybody from athletes, seniors, men and women, children and pregnant women. Pilates is also great for those undergoing physical rehabilitation and making them stronger every day. The exercise methods can be modified according to the student’s fitness level and you as the student can gradually increase resistance and levels as you become more advanced.
The main goal of Pilates is to make your core stronger. Core is the middle part of your body when you take off your extremities. Core includes your chest, abdomen and back. so in other words, your torso. Once your core is properly developed, superficial muscles of your body follow. Pilates instructors follow their own basic principles of Pilates which include, but not limited to, centering, precision and control of movement, concentration, breathing and integration. This sets Pilates apart from other exercise methods available today which mostly apply pressure to the body. Other exercises also tend to tone the arms and legs but do not focus enough on training the core. Usually, Pilates are done on mats set on the floor or with Pilates equipment specifically designed for Pilates exercises.
Joseph Pilates developed this exercise in Germany around 1920 and it was used for rehabilitating soldiers during the war. Due to its amazing results, health and fitness groups were quick to grasp the idea of Pilates and applied it to our physical needs and lifestyle today.