(i) What is Pilates?

Pilates is a specific type of exercise method originally developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. He designed his practice to restore his own health from chronic conditions including rickets, asthma and rheumatic fever. Joseph Pilates firmly believed that many of today’s health issues related to the modern lifestyle, bad posture and sub-optimal breathing.

From this, he developed a number of physical exercises designed to improved designed to improve posture, balance, strength and flexibility as well correcting muscular imbalances and poor breathing habits. He also developed a number of apparatuses, one of them, which is famously known as the ‘reformer’.

Today, Pilates is either performed on the mat, where the teacher will lead the class with the student on the floor using specific exercises or on machines such as the reformer. Today, the practice of Pilates has evolved into ‘Dynamic Pilates’, which was originally developed in LA and has fast developed to become one of the world’s most exciting workouts.

Using the reformer, which is comprised of a sliding plate, pulleys, springs with different loaded tensions and straps, a Pilates instructor has a wealth of different exercises and routines that can be used in any class. The end result leaves the student energized and focused, full of endorphins pumping (those feel-good hormones that the body produces after exercise. Nature’s way of rewarding us for doing something good?

(ii) What are the benefits of Pilates?

Pilates is a full body, rehabilitative, strengthening and conditioning workout. Pilates works by focuses on strengthening the body from ‘inside out’ through the core muscles, as well as the ‘glutes’, working to improve our posture, and overall mobility. The results: a body sculpting, therapeutic conditioner like no other.

Pilates is also beneficial for pre-habilitative strength conditioning, before embarking on or preparing for any new leisurely pursuit. Skiing, tennis, basketball, or any sport that is athletic yet demanding on the body. A course of Dynamic Pilates is the ultimate preparation to get the body in great condition for your chosen activity.

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Pilates has the benefit of treating many of the common ailments afflicting the modern workplace. Back and neck pain are common complaints for which Pilates has been shown to be extremely effective in treating as well as knee pain, where the work done on strengthening the quads through the glute muscles creates stability and strength. By practicing Pilates regularly, you become more conscious of your posture, which Pilates aims to correct. Slumping can become a habit of the past as part of a regular Pilates routine.