What is Pilates Workout

What is Pilates Workout

FITPASS Editorial Team19 October, 2023Updated on : 20 Oct 2023

Pilates may be the trendy new workout practised by athletes and celebrities that has grown immensely in popularity in recent years, but few people know that it is, in fact, a century-old discipline developed by Joseph Pilates way back in 1920. It is a type of mind-body exercise that is similar to yoga which focuses on strengthening the core. In this blog, let us delve into this unique type of workout, and understand its principles and benefits.  

What is Pilates? 

Pilates is an exercise method developed by Joseph Pilates in 1920. It is designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, balance, and overall body awareness. Pilates focuses on the mind-body connection, emphasising precise and controlled movements, proper breathing, and alignment. 

Joseph Pilates drew inspiration from established practices like yoga, gymnastics, and martial arts to develop this new form of workout. He opened his first studio in New York and over time, his exercise method gained recognition and attracted a diverse group of people, including dancers, athletes, and those requiring rehabilitation from injuries. 

The Principles of Pilates 

Pilates is built on a set of principles that form the backbone of the practice. They are: 

  • Precision: Each Pilates exercise has a specific form and alignment that must be followed precisely to maximise its benefits and prevent injury.
  • Concentration: Pilates requires intense mental focus. Practitioners must concentrate on every movement, ensuring proper form and alignment. 
  • Control: The essence of Pilates is control over one's movements. It emphasises the quality of movement over quantity, prioritising precision and mindfulness. 
  • Centering: Pilates places great importance on the body's core, which is called the powerhouse. All movements originate from this centre of the body, which includes the abdominal muscles, lower back, and pelvic floor. 
  • Flow: Pilates movements are designed to flow seamlessly from one to another, promoting graceful and fluid transitions. 
  • Breath: Proper breathing is integral to Pilates. Coordinating your breath with each movement enhances oxygen flow, concentration, and relaxation. 

Types of Pilates 

There are two main types of Pilates today:  

Classical Pilates 

Classic Pilates Workout

This is the traditional Pilates method developed originally by Joseph Pilates. It follows a set sequence of exercises using specialised equipment like the reformer, Cadillac, and Wunda chair. Classical Pilates adheres strictly to the principles and exercises created by Joseph Pilates. 

Contemporary Pilates 

Contemporary Pilates Workout

This is a more modern interpretation of Pilates, which incorporates elements from other fitness disciplines. Contemporary Pilates may use props such as resistance bands, balls, and foam rollers and may differ slightly from the classical sequence to create a customised workout. 

The Benefits of Pilates 

Pilates offers a wide range of benefits, making it suitable for people of all fitness levels and backgrounds. Here are some of the benefits of Pilates:

Improved Core Strength 

Pilates places a strong emphasis on core muscles, leading to enhanced stability and strength in the abdominal and lower back regions. 

Enhanced Flexibility 

Regular practice of Pilates helps improve flexibility by elongating and stretching muscles. 

Better Posture 

Pilates encourages better posture by strengthening the muscles responsible for supporting the spine and maintaining proper alignment. 

Improved Balance and Coordination 

Pilates movements promote better balance and coordination, reducing the risk of falls and injuries. 

Stress Reduction 

The mindful nature of Pilates exercise combined with focus and precise movements can significantly reduce stress and induce relaxation.  

Injury Rehabilitation 

Many physical therapists incorporate Pilates into rehabilitation programs due to its gentle yet effective nature. 

Who Can Benefit from Pilates? 

Pilates is incredibly versatile and can benefit a wide range of individuals like: 

  • Athletes looking to enhance their performance 
  • Individuals seeking rehabilitation from injuries or chronic pain. 
  • Seniors looking to maintain mobility and balance. 
  • Anyone interested in improving their overall fitness and well-being. 

Pilates is not just an exercise method. It's a holistic approach to fitness and well-being that focuses on the mind-body connection. If you’re interested in finding out what Pilates is all about, get the FITPASS app and find the best Pilates classes near you. With the app, you can also search for various gym workouts near you based on exercise type, amenities etc. 

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