You’ve probably heard of or even tried out Pilates, one of the hottest workouts in the fitness industry. Pilates is a staple in many gyms, studios, and training programs – with good reason! Aside from being a trendy workout amongst, there’s much more than meets the eye with this popular, highly effective workout. Here are 5 things you may not know about Pilates:

woman performing a Pilates exercise on a Reformer
            “Here we have a woman performing a Pilates exercise on a Reformer.” 

Pilates Began as Joseph Pilates’ Contrology

The movement method is named after its creator, Joseph H. Pilates, who struggled with poor health as a child and sought to achieve a healthier life for himself. This led to him becoming a gymnast, circus performer, boxer, and trainer to name a few.

Pilates was originally known as Contrology, an exercise method Joseph had spent years developing. He obtained teaching experience in England working with fellow interned men and bedridden soldiers during World War I. Here, he even developed a spring bed that would later become the Reformer, which is the basis of all pilates equipment.

Eventually he brought his exercise system to New York, where it quickly gained momentum in the dance community and beyond. He shared this knowledge with his students, who in turn became teachers themselves, carrying on his legacy and evolving into Pilates as we know it today.

Whole Body Workout

Pilates has a reputation for its efficient core exercises, but it’s also a full-body workout! It’s designed to increase strength, flexibility, mobility, and coordination through intelligent movement.

Pilates uses both bodyweight-based mat work and equipment to challenge, tone, and lengthen your whole body. It requires control and technique to practice the proper alignment and get the most out of each move, working both small and large muscles all over!

Focuses on Both the Body and Mind

Pilates develops not only a strong, healthy body but a strong healthy mind. Each Pilates move has very specific engagement and breathwork. You are practicing awareness and mindfulness as you navigate each exercise. With focus and attention you’ll find it both physically and mentally stimulating!

To fully understand and apply the method, you must build knowledge of how to safely and effectively move. This mind-body connection is a huge part of Pilates. Not to mention the positive effects the workout has on your mental health, reducing stress and anxiety!

three people performing a Pilates exercise on Reformers
       “Here we have three people performing a Pilates exercise on Reformers.”

No Need to Fear Pilates Equipment!

Pilates equipment can be intimidating if you’ve never tried it out before. While it may appear more complicated, it’s actually meant to support the body and enhance the exercises. Devices such as the Reformer, Cadillac and Chair (and many more) add an element of support and challenge to your workout.

Over time more equipment and props have emerged through modern Pilates to offer diversity of movement and stronger foundations. These tools provide challenging and exciting ways to execute the exercises – plus, you’ll find that pilates reformers for sale for your home gym will be priced equally to similar exercise equipment. While mat Pilates may be a wonderful and more commonly seen version of Pilates, the machines and props also play an important role in the movement method and offer benefits such as increased resistance, multi-plane movement, flexibility enhancement, and versatility. With a little practice you might even prefer equipment-based Pilates!

Pilates is for Everybody!

You’ve probably seen Pilates practiced by celebrities, athletes, or fitness fanatics, but Pilates is a practical and fabulous routine for all different levels of experience! The dynamic, low-impact workout can be tailored to suit a wide variety of practitioners. In fact, many professionals in the health and therapy world have adopted the practice for injury prevention and rehabilitation.

The encouragement of modifications and progressions make it more approachable. This inclusive aspect makes it possible for participants to find their own level of intensity and challenge.

The adaptability combined with powerful results is what made it a household name in the fitness world. If you haven’t tried the practice yet, what’s stopping you? Whether you’re looking to breathe better, feel stronger, or improve your health, Pilates has something great to offer you!