What Is Pilates?

Twist II

The perfect Pilates session all adds up to extraordinary commitment and attention to detail. It's not just about feeling good. It's also about how you define "feeling great".

Pilates is a unique approach to exercise that simultaneously strengthens, tones and lengthens the muscles in your entire body. The Method was developed by Joseph H. Pilates as a way to help him withstand his own struggles with childhood illness. Over the years, his Mat work and method of "Contrology" expanded and he designed special apparatus to rehabilitate and condition patients recovering from disease and physical injury. 

Today, Pilates is by far the most practical mode of movement - and challenging exercise - for all levels of fitness conditioning. The Method develops a strong, flat abdomen, and a powerful center. Pilates is the ultimate mind-body movement that strengthens and tones the muscles of the abdomen, the lower back, the buttocks, and the hips - termed the Powerhouse. While doing all exercises all energy originates from this Powerhouse center and radiates strength to the extremities. Pilates conditions the body as a whole with emphasis on proper alignment, concentration, deep, healthy breathing, and controlled movements. The Pilates system restores the spine and body to a stronger, healthier state. Your reward is a body that is uniformly sculpted, strong and powerful, and bio-mechanically efficient.  

Practiced faithfully, you will see and feel the results. Posture, balance, flexibility, coordination and core strength heartily increase. You will see a considerable difference in the way your body moves. Bone density and joint health will improve, along with increased spine flexibility. Your entire body will become stronger. With the unique breath cycle technique Pilates offers, cardiovascular and physical endurance will dramatically improve with performance in sports, other types of exercise routines and kindred activities found in daily living. The healthy practice of correct breathing promotes healthy oxygen flow throughout the entire body increasing lung capacity and circulation that will energize and revitalize your system while the body is in motion, or at rest.

The more than 500 Pilates exercises performed on the mat and/or apparatus are unique and condition the muscles in a balanced, more coequal manner, shaping longer and leaner muscles. The exercises are performed in a slow methodical style that strike a balance between breath and tempo and eliminate excess strain on the joints and body. Each movement rides on the drawing and the delivery of every breath cycle and relieves the heart of undue strain. Controlled transitions between concentric (shortening) and eccentric (lengthening) contractions in muscles, and the unique exchange between assisted and resisted efforts in movement, challenge the entire muscle system resulting in balanced muscle strength.

The Method is also used in post-rehabilitation and rehabilitation practices, and is antidotal in managing symptoms associated with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, arthritis, and other chronic pain. This innovative approach to exercise is therapeutic body conditioning and reconditioning that eliminates the exertion factor often associated with traditional fitness programs, reducing the risk of injury.

Pilates is not just a workout. Pilates is a sensible movement practice that is both physical and mental. The mind becomes the body's master increasing self-awareness, concentration, coordination, control, precision and balance.

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