Published on February 16th, 2014 | by Margaret Pardoe0
Pilates is an exercise system that uses stretching and strengthening of your whole body to improve posture, muscle-strength, flexibility and balance. It’s a blend of elements of yoga, martial arts and Western forms of exercise and was created by German-born Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s. It was used by professional dancers in the US as an effective way recover after injury, and was popularised by celebrities such as Madonna and Jennifer Aniston has since spread throughout the world.
Pilates can help improve your posture, muscle tone and flexibility, core strength and joint mobility, as well as relieve stress and tension and it’s suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. Although it isn’t an effective activity for losing weight, it can support weight loss and improve body shape. For weight loss, pilates needs to be combined with aerobic activity e.g. swimming, walking and cycling.
The exercises were designed by Joseph Pilates designed to be performed on specialised apparatus which is used to provide resistance to challenge your body and support your body, depending on your personal needs For certain medical conditions, apparatus-based pilates may be more suitable, as the equipment and smaller class size means an exercise programme can be individually designed.
With pilates on mats, exercises are mostly performed on the mat, sometimes using small equipment such as stretch bands and gym balls. Mat exercises enable practise at home.
Pilates and yoga have some similarities in that they focus on developing strength, balance, flexibility, posture and good breathing technique.But yoga has a more spiritual side with an emphasis on the unity between the mind and body,
The main components of hatha yoga are postures (a series of movements which increase the strength and flexibility of the whole body) and breathing.
Pilates also uses breathing, but its exercises focus much more on precise movements to target specific parts of the body.