The Pilates Method - What is it?
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What is The Pilates Method?

The Pilates Method is a combination of muscle toning and strength exercises with an emphasis on flexibility and relaxation. Originally invented by Joseph H. Pilates, this mind-body method of exercise builds strong abdominals, improves posture and coordination, and builds long lean muscles.

The Pilates Method — What's in it for you?
By Colleen Craig

Perhaps you have heard of a German gymnast, circus performer and exercise pioneer called Joseph Pilates who immigrated to New York in the late 20's, bringing his unusual views of physical exercise and fitness with him. Ballet dancers were drawn to his work, investigated its benefits, and began to swear by it. So did physical therapists. Later came the glamorous converts: the movie stars and the personal trainers. Today everywhere from the local Y to the neighborhood church basement offer a class in this hard-to-pronounce method of exercise that has been in existence for over seventy-five years.  But is Pilates for you?

We have inherited different body shapes and postural tendencies and these cannot be changed overnight. However, the Pilates Method is highly effective in realigning the body and addressing postural weaknesses by targeting the small postural muscles on both sides of the spine. Strengthening the postural muscles will help support the larger muscles and bring the spine and the body into balance. And that's not all.

"Smooth, firm abs aren't just for looks anymore," writes Health Magazine writer Elizabeth B. Krieger. "Experts are finding that a strong midsection is key to feeling centered-and staying well."  Joseph Pilates saw the abdominal area, (under the bottom rib to the pelvis — the place that connects the abdomen with the lower back with the buttocks) as the centre or powerhouse of the body.  The stronger the powerhouse, the more powerful and efficient the movement. Also, when the abdominal muscles are strong they keep the spine properly aligned and support and distribute stresses placed on it. Most day to day activities — even the most popular sports — do not strengthen this area. The Pilates Method is the exception.


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