Pilates (pronounced puh LAH teez) combines strength and flexibility training, using exercises that tone and condition the entire body. Particular attention is paid to building and developing the area of the body called the “powerhouse,” the core region of the body that includes the abdomen, pelvis, lower back and buttocks. Pilates is an exercise discipline that works specific muscles by contracting, holding, and then releasing them. Each move starts at the abdomen with a focus on controlling stomach muscles. Routines carefully alternate stretching and strengthening. Pilates also creates a powerful mind-body connection, developed through proper breathing technique and concentration on smooth body movements to achieve better mental and physical health and reduce stress.
Pilates was developed by Joseph H. Pilates in the 1920’s. He was a German gymnast and boxer, who became a nurse during World War I. He used Pilates to assist hospitalized patients with their rehabilitative exercise program. He designed both exercise methods and equipment for immobilized patients and soldiers. Joseph believed that our physical and mental health are intertwined, so he designed his exercise program around key principles that supported this philosophy. These key principles are what makes Pilates so amazingly effective. Pilates has been found to be of great benefit to anyone seeking a higher level of fitness. Today, Pilates is practiced all over the world by thousands of people seeking the myriad of benefits of that it provides.