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Pilates was developed by German-born Joseph Pilates, who believed mental and physical health were closely connected. His method was influenced by western forms of exercise, including gymnastics, boxing and Greco-Roman wrestling. Pilates immigrated to the US in the 1920s and opened a studio in New York, where he taught his method – which he called contrology – for several decades.
Pilates offers a balanced combination of strength and flexibility training to improve posture, reduces stress and reduce pain and muscular imbalances by focusing on core stability and core strength to improve general fitness and well-being. Pilates has something to offer people of all ages and levels of ability and fitness, from beginners to elite athletes. Pilates is recommended by healthcare practitioners as a safe and effective form of exercise.
There are many reports on the health benefits of pilates. Regular pilates practise can help improve posture, muscle tone, balance and joint mobility, as well as relieve stress and tension. For elite athletes, pilates can complement their training by developing whole body strength and flexibility, and help reduce the risk of injury.
Before starting any exercise programme, it’s advisable to seek advice from your GP or a health professional if you have any health concerns, such as a health condition or an injury.