How Pilates Works
Pilates works by combining breathing techniques with special stretches. It is a method of exercise focusing on improving the body’s core muscles (between your hips and sternum) thus making the body more flexible and stronger.
This innovative approach develops maximal muscle strength while increasing flexibility. Unlike the tedious repetitions in most work-outs, Pilates involves fewer, more precise movements performed in a specific order. Its unique focus is on strengthening the muscles between your hips and sternum - your 'powerhouse' - so called because of its crucial function as the body's fulcrum of balance and strength.
Four layers of stomach muscle support your spine and promote good posture. When these 'core' muscles are weak, your back sways while your abdomen sags ... which in turn places stress on the internal organs. The Pilates system re- patterns, realigns, clarifies, and defines the body. It corrects poor posture, lifts fatigue and stiffness, improves joint mobility, increases flexibility, and even promotes digestion!
The results achieved through the study of this unique system are unparalleled. Pilates practitioners gain intrinsic strength, breath control, and picture-perfect posture. Men and women of all ages benefit from this unique mode of exercise, which can even reverse the effects of osteoporosis: more than one older student has marveled at how they've 'grown' after several months of practice. Doctors, physical therapists, dancers, and athletes have long revered Pilates as a healing body tonic and marvelous training system.
Joseph Hubertus Pilates, the German born athlete and physical therapy pioneer, created and developed the Pilates Method during WWI and continued teaching until his death in 1967. Here is information about one of his best-known students who continued his work.