Pilates appears to be a new exercise trend, a new craze. Actually, this system has been in existence since the 1920s. Pronounced "puh-LAH-teez," it is named after its developer, Joseph Pilates. Practiced regularly, it can be a great addition to anyone’s exercise routine.
An exercised-based system, Pilates connects the mind, body, and spirit like other programs, i.e. yoga. Its goal is to improve flexibility and strength, creating a balance between the two. Participants gain and develop body awareness through different poses and stretches, which target specific muscle groups.
The overall goal of Pilates is to make a toned body without adding bulk, while lengthening the muscles. Many individuals have found it improves their coordination and relieves stress. Although many exercises can achieve this, Pilates is an interesting way to reach these goals.
One of the main muscle groups it narrows in on is the "core." The core consists of muscle groups often ignored and underdeveloped, such as the back and abdominal muscles. In the process, it improves posture and eases back pain. Yet Pilates is truly exercise for the entire body. It’s important to develop this part of the body in any workout and Pilates does this. Unlike cardiovascular activity, which tends to emphasize the legs, or weight lifting, which often emphasizes arms and legs, Pilates will create a balanced body.
This is a great exercise program for both beginners and those fitness buffs alike. It’s something that can be tailor-fit to anyone’s specific fitness level, adapting as that person becomes more skilled and flexible. Since it’s low impact, Pilates can assist the rehabilitation process for certain injuries. It’s a great way to become more responsive to your body. It may even create more fluid mobility throughout the day, not just during the exercise session.
Pilates is offered in many local gyms. In some cities, there are even centers dedicated exclusively to it. You can also order various video tapes to use at home. There are specific machines that can help with the exercise, but a mat is also effective, making it easy to do at home.