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.
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
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