Pilates (pronounced puh-LA-tees) is a unique method of body conditioning named after German fitness guru, Joseph H. Pilates. The Pilates method provides strength without building bulk or tension, and combines the use of breathing techniques, stretching, muscle control, and mental concentration.
Joseph Pilates designed this method over 80 years ago for rehabilitation and exercise, with a focus on strengthening the “core” musculature and postural alignment. Misalignments and weaknesses are corrected, leading to increased strength, flexibility, balance and coordination.
Pilates formulated 6 basic principles for his exercise technique:
- Breathing – The pattern of breathing is connected with the pattern of movement, ensuring a free flow of oxygen throughout the body. This improves circulation and helps avoid unnecessary tension in the muscles.
- Centering – This refers to the practice of initiating and controlling movement from the center – abs, buttocks and back muscles.
- Concentration – The mind and the body work as a team, with every exercise requiring the full attention of the participant.
- Control – Momentum has no place in Pilates: control is the key
- Flowing Movement – In combination with deep and relaxed breathing, the flowing movements in Pilates reduce stress on the body and the risk of injury
- Precision – The Pilates method emphasizes quality of movement over quantity.
How is Pilates different?
Pilates is invaluable not only as an overall fitness program, but also as an important addition to professional sports training and physical rehabilitation of all kinds. With literally hundreds of exercises, Pilates lends itself to all fitness levels, from post-rehabilitation to exercise novices, to the elite athlete. Learn more…
Who can practice Pilates?
Pilates can be practiced by anyone, from beginners to elite athletes. Everyone can use Pilates to improve their posture, breathing, and alignment. In addition, the mind as well as the body will greatly benefit: you’ll feel stronger “from the inside out.” Learn more…
Benefits of Pilates
Practiced faithfully, Pilates yields numerous benefits. Many students of Pilates report that by attending regular classes, their bodies feel more toned, well-balanced and stronger. Pilates is both gentle, and extremely effective. It teaches balance and control of the body, and that capacity spills over into other areas of your life. Learn more…