What is Pilates?

PILATES is series of strength and mobility exercises

which lengthen and strengthen your muscles without putting any stress on your joints or heart. Pilates builds strength from within, initiating every movement through engaging your deep abdominals and stabilising your torso. The exercises are progressive and safe, concentrating on slow, controlled, flowing movements.
It is a training for the whole body, with particular attention to the deep musculature of the torso, and therefore of the abdominals and the spine. With the alternation of strengthening and stretching exercise, the muscles are trained in the optimal shade, and the body regains mobility and original agility. This will lighten the load on the backbone which obtains an immediate benefit. The aim is to mobilize the whole spine.
The sensation of one’s body is substantially improved.

Origin of Pilates

Pilates is named after Joseph Hubertus Pilates who defined it as a new method and approach to exercise and physical training in the 1920s. Throughout his career he defined over 600 exercises and worked with actors (Marylin Monroe), gymnasts and dancers (Balanchine, Martha Graham), who made it a part of their warming and training.
It is important to underline that since the death of the teacher Josef Pilates, many of his students opened new schools using his name that had not been protected with a trademark or a patent. In doing so, they modified the exercises and above all the teaching method. The original method uses a predefined number of exercises according to a very precise, and always the same sequence, to educate the body and bring it to the self-consciousness and control. The body is trained completely and continuously, no part is neglected, except those that manifest a chronic or acute pain. The movement of the healthy parts will heal the ill parts, the basic principle of the Pilates method, which has used war veterans with amputations and serious injuries, to bring them back both physically and mentally.

“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. In order to achieve happiness, it is imperative to gain mastery of your body. If at the age of 30 you are stiff and out of shape, you are old. If at 60 you are supple and strong then you are young.”

Joseph Pilates