What is Pilates?

Pilates is a form of exercise, developed by Joseph Pilates, which emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility, and awareness in order to support efficient, graceful movement. It has become one of the most popular exercise systems in the country. It seems like everyone is either doing Pilates, or interested in starting a Pilates exercise program. Indeed, one of the best things about the Pilates method is that it works so well for a wide range of people.

Modification is the key to Pilates exercise success with a variety of populations. All exercises are developed with modifications that can make a workout safe and challenging for a person at any level. Athletes and dancers love it, as do seniors, women rebounding from pregnancy, and people who at various stages of physical rehabilitation. People are reporting that the top benefits from doing Pilates is that they become stronger, longer, leaner, and more able to do anything with grace and ease.

Core strength is the foundation of Pilates exercise. The core muscles are the deep, internal muscles of the abdomen and back. When the core muscles are strong and doing their job, as they are trained to do in Pilates, they work in tandem with the more superficial muscles of the trunk to support the spine and movement. As you develop your core strength you develop stability throughout your entire torso. This is one of the keys to how Pilates helps people overcome back pain. As the trunk is properly stabilized, pressure on the back is relieved and the body is able to move freely and efficiently.

The Six Pilates Principles: Centering, Control, Flow, Breath, Precision, and Concentration. These six Pilates principles are essential ingredients in a high quality Pilates workout. The Pilates method has always emphasized quality over quantity, and you will find that, unlike many systems of exercise, Pilates exercises do not include a lot of repetitions for each move. Instead, doing each exercise fully, with precision, yields significant results in a shorter time than one would ever imagine.

Core strength and torso stability, along with the six Pilates principles, set the Pilates method apart from many other types of exercise.