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Pilates is a low impact exercise that aims to improve posture and flexibility, and align the body correctly. Its emphasis is on core strength and consists of a series of stretches, strength and endurance movements.
Pilates is similar to Yoga in that it also focusses on the mind-body connection, but Yoga touches on the spiritual whereas Pilates is more of a physical program geared towards toning and strengthening.
Pilates was orginally created by Joseph Pilates in the 20th century to rehabilitate injured soldiers from the First World War. Fast forward to today, and that’s still what Pilates can do for most people. If you have chronic neck and back pains; hip, knee or other joint problems, Pilates can be an effective treatment. But even if you aren’t suffering from these types of injuries, a Pilates workout can be a great way to get the trim and slim physique you want. Because it focusses on stretching and strengthening muscles and particularly your core, it can help you achieve a leaner, more toned body.
Pilates is ideal for most people who want to improve their posture, balance and flexibility, as well as increase strength, gain muscle definition and achieve overall fitness and well-being. It is particularly good for older people and people who cannot engage in high-impact exercises, and need to regain muscle tone and flexibility.
Pilates is open for everyone, so you can expect a variety of people in one Pilates class. Classes can range from a gentle strength training program to a challenging workout that could help you lose weight. Pilates however is no aerobic exercise, so you will need to combine it with a more rigorous type of activity if your goal is weight loss.
For first timers, classes will only require a mat. Later on however, special equipment provided by the gym may be used.
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