What is Pilates?
Pilates is an alternative form of exercise proven to strengthen, stretch, and define all muscle groups, while simultaneously aligning the body, eliminating excess tension, and building stamina. It is designed to accommodate and benefit everyone, regardless of age or level of physical fitness. Depending on one’s personal needs and goals, Pilates can range from an intense workout to a more of a physical therapy based session. No matter what age you are, or whether you’re injury-free or suffering from an ailment, Pilates is for you!
The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning was developed by Joseph H. Pilates (1881 – 1967). Joseph initially developed Pilates, an exercise program based on a balance between body and mind, as a source of rehabilitation and relief from asthma and other physical ailments he suffered since childhood. A German native, Joseph brought Pilates overseas when he immigrated to the United States in 1925. Joseph and his wife, Clara, established the first Pilates studio in New York City, located next to the New York City Ballet. Pilates quickly gained popularity within the dance community, leading Joseph to train famous dancers, such as George Balanchine and many more.
Over the past few decades, Pilates has gained momentum in the mainstream fitness industry as more people are seeking a safer and more natural total body workout.
Pilates is a precise set of movements using specialized spring resistant equipment to create longer, leaner, and more limber muscles. An important aspect of Pilates training is strengthening the ‘powerhouse,’ including the abdominal, gluteal, and lower back muscles. A strong powerhouse creates a firm foundation for movement and reduces the risk of injury.
The Benefits of Pilates Include an Increase in:
- Flexibility and joint range of motion
- Balance, coordination, and spatial awareness
- Athletic performance and stamina
- Bone density
- Circulation of blood flow
- Postural alignment
- Overall body strength and muscle tone
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