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Pilates Training

John Dana provides an overview of the types of Pilates exercises and the benefits of Pilates.

Pilates is a specific type of training and physiotherapeutic program which has achieved great popularity due to its use for many purposes. Some people train in order to increase muscle tonus, while others use this program as a healing method after a certain injury. There are even those which use it as a workout technique in their weight loss plans and diets.

Brief History of Pilates

The founder of this type of exercise Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. As a frail child suffering from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever, he was determined to develop some kind of training which could help him gain strength. Hence, Pilates as a training program was born out of a combination of yoga, Zen and ancient Greek and Roman exercises.

During WWI, he was positioned as a nurse in England, which enabled him to develop today's springs and straps techniques. These have been proven to increase mobility in physically injured patients and ensure astonishing recovery. After fleeing to New York City where he opened his Pilates studio, the training program achieved great success and spread to massive proportions.

Types of Pilates Exercises

The two basic distinctions are made based on the equipment used. On the one hand, there are training exercises which solely require a soft and spongy surface known as a mat. These comprise of beginner, intermediate and advanced moves according to their level of difficulty.

The other type of Pilates exercises includes certain equipment. It has been invented by Joseph Pilates and further improved by his successors. The most widely known apparatuses include the Guillotine, the Cadillac, Barrels and many other spring-connected machines for better body control.

These two distinctions are not a clear-cut division between the exercises, as some people use both in their training programs. In fact, instructors have been known to adjust the training plans and equipment exercises in order to help each individual trainee achieve optimal results.

The Benefits of Doing Pilates

Although most people associate physical activity with weight loss, that is just a bonus when it comes to Pilates training programs. Since its primary purpose was to make the body more flexible and physically enduring, there is no doubt that the overall positive effects of such exercise ensue on their own.

  • Mind-body synchronization - The first thing you learn at these classes is breathing. It physical benefits include proper posture of the spine and pelvis, while the mind enjoys significant stress reductions.
  • Develop a strong core - Pilates revolves around the central core of the human body, which is the abdominal and back region. By improving those muscles and centering your entire skeleton, these exercise further reach another purpose of clearing and centering your mind.
  • Improve performances and prevent injuries - This is the main reason why all kinds of athletes and celebrities practice Pilates. The technique is used equally by athletes, stage performers (singers, dancers, actors) and individuals who simply want to prevent major injuries by making their body more flexible and increasing their stamina.

The gentle moves of the instructor are sometimes paired with challenging tasks, but once you review the benefits of the practice, there is rarely any dissatisfaction. The inventor of Pilates said it himself: "You will feel better in ten sessions, look better in twenty sessions, and have a completely new body in thirty sessions."


Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • DANA, J. (2017) Pilates Training [WWW] Available from: https://www.brianmac.co.uk/articles/article243.htm [Accessed

About the Author

John has been a physical fitness instructor for his entire adult life, logging 28 years at three different high schools in the United States. In 2008 he began to teach Pilates in private gyms in his hometown and is widely considered an expert in the craft.

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