Pilates. You hear people talking about it. You read about celebrities using it to get ready for films. You see it on television ads late at night. But do you really know what what it is? Well now it’s time for Healthy Fit for Women to break it down for you.
It all started with Joseph Pilates, a self-defense instructor who found himself interned during World I. It was during this time he started to develop a system of exercise for himself and other internees (including those who were bedridden and injured) using springs to create resistance.
After World I, Pilates’s techniques were adopted by dancers, including Hanya Holm and the New City Ballet, eventually developing a reputation with dancers all over the world. By the 1960s, the first Pilates studios were opened and the exercise and movements continue to evolve and grow in popularity to this day.
What is Pilates?
Pilates teaches — people of all ages — flexibility, body awareness, good posture and easy, graceful movements. It focuses on the body’s core muscles, which help keep the body balanced and keeping the spine supported. Pilates can be tailored to fit any client’s fitness and skill levels. The “less is more” theory calls for fewer repetitions, but each one must be precisely executed.
It also focuses on several main principles:
- Flow or efficiency of movement
By focusing on proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and quality over quantity, Pilates is really a total body exercise with numerous benefits. Students who practice Pilates on a regular basis, will often develop a stronger core, a stronger back, and flat abdominals. In addition, many students will also find they are gaining, long, leaner muscles, and flexibility.
Pilates is also a fantastic cross-training exercise for athletes looking to improve mobility, create balance, and prevent injury! As a matter fact, Pilates is often used as a rehabilitation, helping patients to create balance around the particular ailment and higher levels of functioning to return to their goals in daily life and play.
Interested in trying out a Pilates class for yourself? Healthy Fit for Women offers several options every week! Check out our class schedule here.