The Pilates Method or simply Pilates, pronounced “Pih-lah-tees” is a system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Joseph Pilates called his method Contrology, because he believed his method uses the mind to control the muscles.
Pilates is a body-conditioning method that works in a different way to other fitness techniques. Targeting the deep postural muscles, it works by building strength from the inside out, rebalancing the body and bringing it into correct postural alignment. It helps to reshape your body, which will become longer, leaner and more toned. It will also improve your posture, achieving the perfect balance between strength and flexibility, and a great way to relieve unwanted stress and tension. Ideal for athletes looking to enhance their performance and avoid the risk of injury; it is equally suitable for first time exercisers. Its slow, controlled approach means that it gives longer term results and it is especially recommended by medical specialists for those with back problems.
Pilates offers both mental and physical training, literally teaching you to be in control of your body. By improving body awareness and focus, tension is released from the body and correct postural alignment is taught. The Pilates Method encourages you to breathe more efficiently by breathing laterally into the lower ribcage. The creation of a girdle of strength is one of the primary aims and is achieved by strengthening the deep postural muscles that stabilise the torso. By correcting imbalances, sound muscle recruitment patterns are encouraged and the body is realigned. Precise, controlled, flowing movements mean that the muscle and ligament damage, sometimes associated with other fitness regimes, is avoided. Pilates, in fact, plays a key role in many injury rehabilitation programmes in dance, sport and general practice.