What is Pilates?

Pilates is a conditioning program that delivers simultaneous stretching and strengthening.

Pilates provides all of the following:

• a non-impact, balanced workout
• works deeper intrinsic muscles
• development of core strength
• strong and fit abdominals
• range of motion
• flexibility
• efficient and graceful movements
• improved alignment and breathing
• increased body awareness.

Pilates is an exercise system that incorporates aspects of:
• yoga
• martial arts
• physical therapy
• strength training

Pilates was developed in the 1920s by physical trainer Joseph Pilates. Joe Pilates devised a series of controlled movements that engage the mind and body in developing strong, flexible muscles without building bulk.

Emphasis is placed on developing deep torso strength and flexibility- known as ‘centering’- to ensure proper posture and reduced risk of injury; focusing on proper posture and technique rather than high repetitions.

“Stretching is considered important to better fitness, since it can enhance
aerobic and strength training as well as prevent and help repair injuries.”
–Richard Cotton, spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise.

Who does Pilates?

Since the 1940s, Pilates has been very popular with dancers, models and actors. It was adopted by dancers, Martha Graham and George Balanchine.

Today, Pilates’ followers and endorsers include:
• dancers
• athletes
• physical therapists
• fitness trainers,
• health care providers
• people of all ages
• people interested in rehabilitation, stretching and strengthening,
proper body alignment, and balanced mind and body.

More Information about Pilates and other stretching and strengthening exercises:

The Pilates Body
by Brooke Siler
Broadway Books, NY

Body Control: Techniques Developed, by Joseph Pilates
by Lynne Robinson, Gordon Thomson
Bain Bridge Books, Philadelphia, 1998

NY City Ballet Workout
by Peter Martins, 1997

Swiss Ball Applications for Orthopedic and Sports Medicine: A Guide for Home Exercise Programs Utilizing the Swiss Ball.
by Joanne Posner-Mayer, 1995

Anatomy of Movement
by Blandine Calais-Germaine, Andree Lamotte
Eastland Press, Seattle, 1990

Anatomy of Movement: Exercises
by Blandine Calais-Germaine, Andree Lamotte
Eastland Press, Seattle, 1990

The Method Forum (quarterly newsletter)
Physical Mind Institute
505-988-1990;
www.the-method.com or the method@trail.com

Balanced Body (for equipment) 800-240-3539; www.balancedbody.com