ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Introduction To Pilates

Updated on January 23, 2018
Woman ready to exercise
Woman ready to exercise | Source

A Brief History

The practice of Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates, who was born in Dusseldorf in 1883. He was apparently a sickly child who had suffered from conditions such as asthma and rickets. Determined to make himself healthy, he practiced various forms of exercise and recorded the results.

In 1912, he left Germany for Britain, where he became a professional boxer and a circus acrobat, as well as teaching self defence to detectives at Scotland Yard! After the outbreak of World War I, he was interred due to being a German national. He used this time to develop what is now known as Pilates.

During the 1920s, he and his wife Clara moved to the United States. They opened a fitness studio in New York, where it became popular with the dance community and attracted celebrities. Dancers found that the Pilates method helped them to recover from injuries, as well as avoid recurrence.

It was in 1970 that the Pilates method reached Britain, when a student of the London Contemporary School of Dance was invited to New York to learn about Pilates. On his return, he opened Britain's first Pilates studio. His first clients were actors and dancers, but doctors and physiotherapists soon started recommending the method to patients with injuries.

The method was originally called Contrology, but it became known as Pilates after the death of Joseph Pilates in 1967.

The practice of Pilates has evolved to use modern pieces of equipment, but the roots and core method remain the same.

Pilates Exercises

Pilates exercises place emphasis on core strength. The exercises may use equipment, or may be mat work. Equipment can include hand weights, stretch bands and gym balls. There is also specialist Pilates equipment, such as the Wunda Chair. The chair is a resistance based workout machine, and exercises can be done on it either lying, sitting or standing. These exercises should help to strengthen the core, as well as the arms and legs.

Some may ask how Pilates differs to yoga. as they both work on core strength, flexibility and posture, as well as including the connection between mental and physical well being. Yoga tends to place more emphasis on relaxation techniques and often uses static poses, whereas Pilates uses a flow of movement. Pilates practice is also more likely to include apparatus along with mat work. Much yoga practice doesn't include the use of equipment.

Woman practicing pilates
Woman practicing pilates | Source

Benefits of Pilates

Pilates can offer various benefits. Dancers and athletes have found it to be useful for developing strength and flexibility, as this can reduce the risk of injury. The main potential benefits are the development of core strength, improved flexibility, a better posture and increased awareness of the connection between mind and body.

There is evidence that it can be useful for those who experience back pain. The use of apparatus means that the exercises can be performed with support, although the method should be approved by a qualified health professional. Pilates may also be an aid to weight loss along with a healthy diet and aerobic activities.

One of the main benefits of practicing Pilates is that it can be tailored to individual needs, so it is suitable for a variety of ages and abilities.

Classes and Equipment

Pilates classes can vary in intensity, so it is important to choose one that suits your needs. Some classes are taught in a Pilates studio using apparatus, and some are taught in a general fitness centre using mats and small equipment.

If choosing a class using apparatus it is advisable to be taught on a one to one basis, at least until you have some experience in using the equipment. In the UK there is currently no requirement for a Pilates teacher to be qualified, so you may want to check their level of experience before choosing a class.

Most classes won't require you to bring any equipment as this should be provided, although you may want to buy your own mat.

Before starting any new form of exercise it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional, particularly if you have any injuries or medical conditions. This article is purely for information and is not intended as medical advice.

Exercise equipment
Exercise equipment | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • contentpencil profile image


      2 years ago from sacramento

      nice exercise


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)