What is Pilates?
Pilates is a physical fitness method that was developed in the early 20th century. The founder, Joseph Pilates, originally named his exercise “Contrology.” However, today it is commonly referred to as Pilates after the founder. Pilates became widely known to the public in the 1970s, particularly in Hollywood, United States.
How can Pilates be defined?
Pilates can be defined as an exercise that focuses on controlled movements and proper body alignment. It involves retraining the body through precise movements that originate from the centre of the body and extend to the limbs. To fully understand Pilates, it is helpful to consider three main aspects.
The first aspect relates to fitness. While Pilates is often done on a mat like yoga, it is not typically done by non-professionals. It can be challenging, but it is also fulfilling, particularly for healthy women in their 20s and 30s.
The second aspect of Pilates is its focus on the mind-body connection. It requires concentration and mindfulness in order to perform the movements correctly and achieve maximum benefit.
The third aspect of Pilates is related to rehabilitation. Many modern people exercise regularly or not for their physical health, but some experience physical discomfort that is not related to a specific disease. This discomfort may occur during daily activities or exercise, and traditional fitness-based exercises may not effectively address it. In such cases, a rehabilitation approach to exercise is needed.
In Pilates, the rehabilitation concept emphasises the importance of exercise posture and the activation of deep muscles in the body. It is important to understand how to properly exercise these muscles in order to achieve the best results.
Joseph Pilates, the founder of Pilates, believed that his exercises could be performed safely anywhere and at any time.
The history of Pilates
The history of Pilates can be traced back to Joseph Pilates, who was born in Munich, Germany. During the first half of the 20th century, he developed an exercise system designed to strengthen the human body and mind, based on his belief that the health of the mind and body were closely related.
As a young man, Joseph was exposed to a variety of physical training practices in Germany, which served as the foundation for his own exercise method. This was in line with the culture of physical education that emerged in the late 19th century, when new exercise methods and special machines were introduced to treat health problems. These were either developed by physical therapist Fehr Henrik Ling from Sweden or were extensions of the traditional concept of medical gymnastics.
The early 20th century was marked by a keen interest in Greek culture, which focused on promoting mental and physical health. Joseph Pilates was deeply influenced by this cultural trend, and he demonstrated outstanding gymnastic abilities.
Effects of Pilates
When discussing the effects of Pilates, pain relief is an important topic to cover. Pilates is a safe exercise method that can provide pain relief for patients with chronic back pain, musculoskeletal disorders, motor injuries, Parkinson’s disease, and more. It also teaches functional body movements that can prevent injuries.
Pilates is often referred to as a sports rehabilitation exercise because it helps prevent injury and illness. The method emphasizes body alignment, which is the cornerstone of the body’s ability to consciously perform breathing and move correctly. It effectively improves the flexibility, muscle strength, endurance, and quickness of body parts such as the abdomen, back, arms, hips, and legs.
Pilates focuses on the core or powerhouse of the body, which is the activation of the central body muscles. This allows the arms and legs to move freely in daily life, making Pilates an essential exercise method for improving body coordination and balance. It can be called the body conditioning route because it increases muscle activity by balancing the muscles and maintaining the correct posture. Overall, Pilates is an exercise therapy that refreshes the body, enabling it to move comfortably and naturally.