The Pilates fitness craze that has been growing in popularity over the past few years is actually a very precise method developed almost one hundred years ago by Joseph Pilates. He first used his method during World War I to help rehabilitate and strengthen hospital patients and staff. The simple act of attaching springs to hospital beds as a way to work aching muscles proved effective in leading to more rapid recoveries. In the 1920’s Joseph Pilates went on to establish the first official Pilates Studio in New York City. This center for instruction and certification continues to train some of the best and most renowned Pilates instructors to this day. Over the past 30 years especially, Pilates has expanded from an elite circle of dancers and athletes to become one of the most popular forms of exercise in the country.
The Pilates method incorporates both mat and machine based exercises. Both forms are equally effective. One of the key elements of the method is to make a mind-body connection through each controlled movement. Therefore, not only working muscles, but also engaging the mind. Pilates stresses quality over quantity. It’s not the amount of repetitions that matters; more importantly is that the movements are precise, and properly executed. The benefits of a Pilates work-out are manifold. For starters you’re getting a well organized and thorough work-out that will keep you focused and stimulated every time.
You’ll improve flexibility, posture, alignment, and balance while strengthening muscles without bulking. Finally, once you’ve begun to truly understand the technique you’ll find yourself using variations of the different movements in everyday life. Clients of all genders, races, ages, and fitness levels can benefit from a regular Pilates work-out.
"I must be right... Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They'd be happier."
Joseph Hubertus Pilates
in 1965, age 86