The Pilates method is full-body conditioning integrating the body, mind, and spirit as a coordinated whole. It is a unique system of stretching and strengthening exercises developed more than 90 years ago by Joseph Pilates. The exercises strengthen and tone muscles and improve posture, flexibility, range of motion, and balance. Every Pilates movement integrates the core of the body as the primary mover or stabilizing unit. The body and mind work together and gradually integrate the exercise at various levels depending on the individual’s needs. The exercises are easy to modify by making the movements bigger or smaller, changing the flow, and modifying the movement to meet the individual needs of each client. They do not stress the joints or ligaments but work to strengthen the muscles around them, which is key to reducing the load on the joint for syndromes and arthroplasties.
The Pilates mat work is the backbone of the method. However, movements are also performed on various pieces of Pilates’ equipment and props. Pilates is a form of fitness that can benefit all people regardless of age or current fitness level. Performing the Pilates exercises consistently and regularly at least 3 times per week, using modifications as needed, is important to experiencing the benefits of the method.