Pilates is a physical fitness exercise developed by Joseph Pilates and has become very popular among people in Germany, United States, and United Kingdom. The main concept of Pilates is to achieve control. Joseph Pilates believe that to be able to achieve total control, you have to keep both your mind and body in good shape as the two are interrelated to one another to achieve overall fitness.
Pilates improves muscle tone, balances musculature, supports correct posture, and teaches to move with ease and grace. Pilates is a body conditioning routine that may help build flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance in the legs, abdominals, arms, hips, and back. It is useful for improving balance, lumbar stabilization and flexibility, lower back pain, and pelvic floor dysfunction. As of 2005, there are already as much as 11 million practitioners of Pilates in US alone. As people are getting more inclined to keeping themselves healthy, more and more people are doing this fitness exercise all over the world.
The Pilates method seeks to develop controlled movement from a strong core (similar to what is needed in ballroom dancing) and it does this using a range of apparatus to guide and train the body. It comes in two basic forms: classical or authentic and modern Pilates. The first teaches consistency in respecting the principles of the method developed by Joseph Pilates. Teachers of Authentic Pilates seek to stay close to Joseph Pilates’ original work and support the use of equipment that is built to his specifications. Classically trained teachers will have studied an important part of the Pilates system of exercises and some of the teachers will continue training towards mastering the whole system over many years. On the other hand, modern Pilates is an extension of the physiotherapy and fitness industries, many changes have been made to the original exercises, the equipment, and philosophy. This is what is widely marketed all over the world today.
Interested? Check with your doctor first. This is good start to determine what level of Pilates will work for you. At the same time, you can avoid injuries and have precautions before going in to this fitness exercise. For instance, women at post partum period of pregnancy should be well-guided by an expert and follow the guidelines set by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. People with low bone density (or those at risk of osteoporosis) should be careful especially in movements that take the spine into forward bending (flexion) or end range rotation or side-bending motions to prevent potential vertebral compression fracture.
Before you have yourself enrolled for Pilates, make sure that your instructor is certified by the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA). With that, you are rest assured to get the proper and efficient workout for you. Proper workout will then lead you to achieve the benefits that Pilates promises and has proven to give you. Achieving the sense of control in to your body and into your life is one best gift you Pilates can reward you. With the right discipline and determination, you can do it.