is a mind-body exercise programme which focuses on developing
a strong core, increasing mobility and range of motion along
with improving posture and coordination.
main principle behind Pilates is that of 'stabilising before
mobilising.' This refers to strengthening the stabilising
muscles, for example the deep abdominal muscles, which support
the organs of the abdominal cavity as well as the lower spine,
whilst increasing mobility and strength in the limbs (arms
are worked both in their contracted and lengthened state,
reducing the 'bulking' effect which is so often the result
of traditional exercise.
Origins of Pilates
in 1880 in Germany, Joseph Pilates suffered from acute asthma
and related postural problems. Despite this he was a keen
sportsman and from an early age devised and designed exercise
programmes to help him overcome his physical difficulties.
In the 1920s he moved to New York where he joined forces with
the New York ballet and designed programmes for ballet dancers
based on correct spinal alignment and strengthening the related
Joseph's day, much has been learnt about the body and how
it moves and modern Pilates exercise has incorporated this
into the repertoire of over 550 exercises.
equipment has also been modified over the years and is now
designed with experts from the physiotherapy and sports rehabilitation