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What Is Pilates Good For?

Posted on 27th May 2016

What Is Pilates Good For?

Great question! First let's go over what Pilates ISN'T: Pilates is not yoga. Yoga incorporates elements of religion, spirituality and meditation into the concept of wellness. Pilates isn't weight training. Pilates isn't P90X or Crossfit. It's not an aggressive workout program, and a traditional gym with weights isn't a requirement.


So what is Pilates? Let's go back to the beginning: Joseph Pilates was a German physical trainer who was born around 1880. As a boy, he was so physically fit that he found work posing for anatomical charts. After leaving wartime Germany in the 1920s, he set up a studio in NYC and began teaching his Method to Americans. That is an incredibly fast and general overview of Pilates' early life. For a more comprehensive bio, click here.


The Pilates Method involves moves that require a person to use nearly her whole body. With a focus on strengthening the core, these moves include strengthening and stretching various parts of the body simultaneously, while incorporating rhythmic breathing. Essentially, it helps to teach your body how to move correctly based on strength and body mechanics. The idea is that what the body learns during Pilates sessions is carried throughout the day to improve fitness, health and overall wellness.


Some Pilates movements can be performed on the floor; others require the use of machines that Pilates developed. Initially, Pilates’ clients were dancers. As word of his methodology spread, however, average people began enrolling in his classes. Joseph Pilates wrote several books about his Method, and there are many Pilates studios now in operation all over the US.


In short, Pilates offers a wellness solution that is a little more “physical body focused” than the highly spiritual yoga. Find a Pilates studio near you, or check out one of Pilates’ books.

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