Pilates

 

Pilates (pronounced /pɨˈlɑːtiːz/) is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates in Germany. As of 2005, there are 11 million people who practice the discipline regularly and 14,000 instructors in the United States.

Pilates called his method Contrology (from control and Greek -λογία, -logia), because he believed his method uses the mind to control the muscles. The program focuses on the core postural muscles which help keep the body balanced and which are essential to providing support for the spine. In particular, Pilates exercises teach awareness of breath and alignment of the spine, and aim to strengthen the deep torso muscles

Pilates was designed by Joseph Pilates, a gymnast born in Germany of partly Greek ancestry. He designed a system of exercises during the First World War with the proposal to improve the rehabilitation program for the many returning veterans. Joseph Pilates believed that mental and physical health are inter-related. He recommended a few precise movements emphasizing control and form to aid injured soldiers in regaining their health by strengthening, stretching, and stabilizing key muscles. Pilates created “The Pilates Principles” to condition the entire body: proper alignment, centering, concentration, control, precision, breathing, and flowing movement.

Joseph Pilates wrote two books related to the Pilates method: Return to Life through Contrology (1928) and Your Health: A Corrective System of Exercising That Revolutionizes the Entire Field of Physical Education (1934).

 

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