John Dana provides an overview of the types of Pilates exercises and the benefits of Pilates.
Pilates is a specific type of training and physiotherapeutic program which has achieved great popularity due to its use for many purposes. Some people train to increase muscle tonus, while others use this program as a healing method after a specific injury. There are even those who use it as a workout technique in their weight loss plans and diets.
Brief History of Pilates
The founder of this type of exercise Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. As a frail child suffering from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever, he was determined to develop some training that could help him gain strength. Hence, Pilates as a training program was born out of a combination of yoga, Zen, and ancient Greek and Roman exercises.
During WWI, he was positioned as a nurse in England, which enabled him to develop today's springs and straps techniques. These have been proven to increase mobility in physically injured patients and ensure astonishing recovery. After fleeing to New York City, where he opened his Pilates studio, the training program achieved great success and spread to massive proportions.
Types of Pilates Exercises
The two fundamental distinctions are made based on the equipment used. On the one hand, there are training exercises that solely require a soft and spongy surface known as a mat. These comprise beginner, intermediate and advanced moves according to their level of difficulty.
The other type of Pilates exercises includes specific equipment. It has been invented by Joseph Pilates and further improved by his successors. The most widely known apparatuses include the Guillotine, the Cadillac, Barrels, and many other spring-connected machines for better body control.
These two distinctions are not a clear-cut division between the exercises, as some people use both in their training programs. Instructors have been known to adjust the training plans and equipment exercises to help each trainee achieve optimal results.
The Benefits of Doing Pilates
Although most people associate physical activity with weight loss, that is just a bonus when it comes to Pilates training programs. Since its primary purpose was to make the body more flexible and physically enduring, there is no doubt that the overall positive effects of such exercise ensue on their own.
The gentle moves of the instructor are sometimes paired with challenging tasks, but once you review the benefits of the practice, there is rarely any dissatisfaction. The inventor of Pilates said it himself: "You will feel better in ten sessions, look better in twenty sessions, and have a completely new body in thirty sessions."
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About the Author
John has been a physical fitness instructor for his entire adult life, logging 28 years at three different high schools in the United States. In 2008 he began to teach Pilates in private gyms in his hometown and is widely considered an expert in the craft.