How Much Do You Know About Pilates?



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If you want a conditioned body, or want to increase your strength, endurance or coordination than consider Pilates. Athletes and gymnasts use Pilates to build muscles, flexibility and improve circulation. Hollywood uses Pilates to sculpt lean, photogenic bodies.

The founder of Pilates, Joseph Pilates was frail as a child, suffering from asthma. During WWI, he designed exercises to help soldiers who were immobilized to regain muscles and mobility after bed rest. He incorporated the mind-body formats found in yoga and Chinese martial arts. Joseph Pilates believed that movement training could manage pain with non-weight bearing exercises that improved muscle strength without causing harm.

There are two methods used when doing Pilates including mat exercises and various machines that are designed to strengthen the body using resistance. The key to Pilates is making your movements smooth, purposeful and with control. Originally Pilates was designed as a system that utilizes both the mat and equipment. Individuals will achieve the most benefit if they work the entire system. It is important to remember whom the system was first designed for: those who were injured or ill.

Today, the equipment is used to support an individual so that they can learn the proper way to have muscle follow body structure and have the individual be supported by machine as the learning is happening. Once the machines have supported the individual in learning the techniques it becomes easier to transfer over to the mat and have confidence in accomplishing the exercises.

Recently, Pilates has experienced great popularity because of the first-hand positive experiences of those who have used Pilates. Joseph Pilates, founder of the Pilates method originally designed the exercises for WW1 English soldiers, and then taught them to boxers and later to ballet dancers. Slowly over the years everyone else started to take notice of the many benefits of Pilates.

There is a need for constant concentration in order to fuse the mind with the body in your plea for health and fitness centered on core stabilization. Individuals of all ages can successfully follow the 500 exercises that make up the Pilates method. Regular use of Pilate’s techniques will give you the maximum benefits that individuals seek for a fit body and mind.

Did you know that even though today much of how Pilates is taught is through groups, the founder Joseph Pilates used a more personal one on one method of teaching that was so thorough it was reported that he took anywhere from one to several years before a student was ready to teach on their own.

Individuals suffering from any kind of pain should first consult a doctor for a diagnosis to determine the cause of the pain, as not all sources of pain are compatible with Pilates. If you are not ready for Pilates, beginning a Yoga practice may be for you.

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Originally posted 2008-10-08 11:54:13.


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