What is Pilates?
Pilates is a system of exercise designed by a brilliant man named Joseph Pilates (and probably aided by his wife Clara more than the historians will ever know). Pilates emphasizes balanced strength, breathing, flexibility, mind-body awareness, and most famously, core strength. But Pilates is much more than just getting well-defined and strong abs. Pilates is an exercise program that can aid you throughout your life, helping with better posture, less back pain, serious and not-as-serious injuries and medical conditions, pregnancy, and graceful aging. Athletes, dancers, lawyers, doctors, yogis, bankers, seniors, students, and even kids are discovering its benefits. Pilates has several machines (they prefer if you call them apparatus) that offer resistance through pulley systems, springs, and the person’s own body weight. These include the reformer, Cadillac (also called a trapeze table), wunda chair, ladder barrel, step barrel, and others. There are also mat classes. In the traditional Pilates repertoire, when you include the work on all of the apparatuses, there are hundreds of exercises that can exercise every single part of your body, whether your body is training for a marathon or recovering from a serious back injury. Pilates emphasizes form over reps, and each exercise should be performed with the following principles in mind: