Fundamentals and Benefits of Pilates
Utilizing his phenomenal intuitive sense of the correct physiological use of the body, Joseph Pilates developed over 500 effective and specific exercises to be performed on his uniquely designed variable resistance spring controlled apparata-the reformer, the trapeze table, the wonder chair and barrels as well as a full Mat exercise repertoire.
This exercise system strengthens the "powerhouse"- abdomen, back and buttocks so stabilizing the body and enabling it to move freely. It dramatically and rapidly improves strength, flexibility, posture and overall alignment of the musculature and skeleton without increasing bulk. It is an indispensable tool for athletes and unconditioned people alike enabling them to develop coordination, aesthetic form, strength and balanced posture.
Pilates is not just exercise. The very specific movements and breathing patterns require focused attention engaging both body and mind.
Joseph H. Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. As a frail child he was determined to build and strengthen his physique and so developed a lifelong interest in body conditioning. He later went on to become an accomplished diver, gymnast, and boxer.
During the First World War, as he was a German citizen, Joseph was interned in England and during that period he worked as a nurse. While tending immobilized patients, he designed exercise apparatus using springs attached to hospital beds. These machines and the exercises that he developed for them were to become the nucleus of his body conditioning method. After the war he moved to New York and opened his first "Contrology" studio there in 1926.
Over the years as the effectiveness of his exercise method became known, "Pilates" became more and more popular. Currently the "Pilates" method of exercise is used worldwide by people of all ages, sex, and fitness levels for body conditioning and rehabilitation purposes.