Pilates is a body conditioning method of controlled strengthening and stretching exercises developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1920s and works in a different way to other exercise techniques.
Where many exercise techniques isolate muscles and build them individually, Pilates works the body as a whole, so that muscles work together. Weak muscles are strengthened and overused or tight muscles are released and lengthened.
Targeting the deep postural muscles to stabilise the torso, Pilates works by building strength from the inside out, rebalancing the body and bringing it into correct alignment. It avoids muscle and ligament damage, sometimes associated with other exercise techniques, and in fact, plays a key role in many injury rehabilitation programmes in sport, dance and general practice. Pilates has gained a high reputation for making a difference in people’s lives and clinical practitioners, such as osteopaths, chiropractors and physiotherapists, increasingly recommend Pilates as part of the rehabilitation of their patients.
Pilates is typically taught either on a mat or using a reformer and other equipment such as the Wunda Chair.