Pilates is a body conditioning method that seeks to build strength, coordination, flexibility and endurance without adding any muscle bulk.
Pilates also helps increase the circulation which gets the blood flowing to every cell of your body.
It also helps to sculpt the body as well as strengthen the body's -powerhouse- or -core-.
People who faithfully do Pilates feel that they are less prone to injury, have better posture and experience better overall health.
Joseph H. Pilates who founded the Pilates method was born in Germany. He was especially frail as a child as he had asthma along with other childhood conditions.
In order to grow stronger and to build up his body, he took up a variety of sports and even became an accomplished athlete. He served as a nurse during the First World War in Great Britain.
It was here that he designed exercise methods as well as equipment for soldiers and other immobilized patients.
Pilates also developed a series of exercises that used a mat which focused on the torso. These exercises were based upon different exercise methods from all over the world including the mind-body formats of Chinese martial arts and yoga.
Joseph Pilates believed that our mental and physical health are all intertwined. His exercise program was designed around principles that support his philosophy.
These include concentration, control, flowing movements, precision and breathing.
There are two basic ways to exercise doing Pilates. You can either focus on mat exercises or you can use a variety of machines to strengthen and tone the body using the principle of resistance.