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The Pilates Method

First of all what is Pilates (p?lah?tees)? If you are not up to date with this very popular exercise, itís never too late to get started. The Pilates Method actually, had been around since the 1920ís, so you know that this exercise is not just another fitness craze. Pilates is a form of strength and flexibility training, that stretches and strengthens muscles (focusing on the core abdominal muscles) and can provide a long, lean appearance.

Brief history

This exercise was brought to the U.S by a man by the name of Joseph Pilates. While working in a hospital during the 1920ís, Joseph found a way to help patients increase their strength during their hospital stay. His goal was to make sure that patients were able to get back to daily functions after leaving the hospital without any trouble.

Back then, Joseph found a way to help the patients gain strength by utilizing the hospital beds. Today, this concept takes the form of the "Reformer," a piece of equipment used in modern Pilates training. The reformer consists of a moveable carriage that uses springs and a pulley system to create the resistance used in the over 400 exercises one can do in Pilates.

Benefits of Pilates

Pilates strengthens and challenges the studentís core physical fitness, while at the same time teaching about breathing, pelvic placement and rib cage stabilization during each exercise. In this way, the Pilates method combines the traditions of Eastern and Western philosophies towards exercise simultaneously emphasizing controlled breathing and regimented movements and resistance.
Pilates is a form of exercise that is unique compared to traditional fitness classes: it requires an intense mind body connection. For this reason, many dancers use Pilates as a technique to help discipline their form.

Pilates is also a great stress reliever because it teaches a method of exercising control over the body to rid the mind of lifeís stressors. Try Pilates and experience the benefits for yourself!


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