Pilates is a relatively young concept for the strengthening and development of mind and body. Developed by German-born Joseph Pilates, it was practised by many dancers (working directly with him), and it is easy to understand why, as the discipline is based on developing controlled movements from a strong core. Many of the exercises involved the use of specific pieces of equipment, which were used in a precise, repetitive set of exercises, all based on the principles of resistance.
A core principle of Pilates is that of strengthening and stabilising the core, the network of muscles in our lumbopelvic region which provides our core control and our stability. This is immensely beneficial to correction of simple day-to-day movements.
The principles were originally practised in bespoke and specially equipped studies, but the popularity of Pilates has been such that it has spread to gymnasiums and fitness studios across the world.
Key benefits of Pilates include:
• corrects alignment which may have been affected by poor posture, for example by sitting for hours at a desk, or as a result of injury
• relieves back-related ailments
• reduces common aches and pains
• improves posture
• reshapes the body – trims and strengthens
• helps improve performance in most sports.