Where did pilates come from?

Pilates is a method of exercise that was started in the 1920s by renowned physical trainer Joseph Pilates.  The exercises follow a series of controlled movements that require both physical and mental exertion.

Unlike the traditional strength training gym with weights, Pilates uses resistance training with springs.  This is a low-impact method to gain long lean muscle tone.

Pilates can:

  • Help prevent injury
  • Improve posture
  • Enhance breathing
  • Increase strength
  • Increase flexibility

Absolutely every exercise is about developing the core even when exercises are geared toward arms or legs, the core is engaged.

Who can benefit from pilates?

Anyone can benefit from the practice of pilates from the beginner to advanced student. 

Beginners find that it is an effective way to gain core strength while protecting their back and learning how to build a strong body/mind connection.

Others use it as a cross-training to build strength and flexibility to compliment their training in cycling, running, yoga, and even golfing!

Post physical therapy patients find it is a gentle and controlled way to continue building strength and flexibility of their affected area.

Men can benefit as much as women.  After-all, pilates was created by a man!

What is better, the equipment or the mat?

Both the equipment, especially the reformer, and the mat each have their place.  Most exercises can be done on both the equipment and the mat.  Performing them in both locations reveals the challenges of the exercises.

The reformer helps guide a beginners movement and doesn't allow as much 'cheating'.  It helps the student stay aligned and gain strength that can then be brought to the mat. 

The mat is a great place to test the limits of one's strength and control without the assistance of the equipment.  Proper alignment must first be obtained before mastering mat exercises.