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What is Pilates?

written by Head Health Nutter July 27, 2008

Are you an exercise phobe looking for an activity that doesn’t seem like work? What if I told you that I knew of a low-intensity, highly effective workout that if practised, would give you the long, strong and lean body of a dancer or gymnast?

Developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s while incarcerated in a WWI German internment camp , Pilates is a series of muscle strengthening floor exercises. Many people like this form of exercise because there a very few repetitions, easily preventing boredom. And, you barely break a sweat!

Pilates is based on a holistic perspective and is a mind-body method that requires slow and controlled movements. The participant purposefully moves in and out of poses, strong from their core, concentrating on contracting and stretching the necessary muscles to perform each exercise.

In Pilates, the only equipment you need is your own body weight and a mat. But if you want, the exercises have several variations based on your experience level. More advanced movements incorporate weights and resistance bands.

Besides the improved posture, probably the biggest selling feature for me is the meditative benefits. The methodology, or as Pilates called it, Contrology , has 6 founding principals : centering, control, flow, breath, precision and concentration. Since regularly incorporating Pilates into my weekly routine, it has quickly become an essential method to manage my stress.

So, if you haven’t tried Pilates yet, what are you waiting for? And if you have, tell us about your experiences in the comment section.

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1 comment

Emmanuel Lopez | Motivatorman July 29, 2008 at 9:00 am

Discovering pilates was a big surprise for me. As a guy I found pilates opened me up to the power of inner strength training. I soon moved towards ashtanga yoga which is my primary source of exercise today.

Thanks for sharing the benefits of pilates Stephanie!



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