What is Pilates?

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"Pilates was developed byJoseph Pilates" - he was a person, who still had a six-pack only two years before his death.

Here's why:

Pilates is a low impact strength/resistance exercise mode improving the muscle's endurance and strength (Fourie et al., 2012).

Via controlled movement sequences, it encourages ergonomic postural alignment, balanced musculature and core strength.

It was developed by Joseph Pilates, who dedicated his life to improving physical fitness and mental health. He created a whole-body exercise system, based his method on yoga, martial arts, gymnastics and dance and published it as The Pilates Method of Physical and Mental Conditioning in 1980 (Latey, 2001).

Pilates is a mind-body exercise program focusing on breathing, precision, control, concentration, centring and flow (Latey, 2001). Controlling movements when doing repetitions requires focus and body awareness, precision is key as the quality of movements is crucial to use the correct muscle groups (Latey, 2001).

The benefits of practising Pilates regularly include increased muscle tone and endurance, improved core strength and stability, flexibility and balance and improved postural alignment.

It has become a reputable method for rehabilitation, injury prevention and sustainable exercise as part of a balanced lifestyle.


As breathing is a basic principle, depending on the intensity, pilates can increase the heart rate and breathing rate becoming more aerobic. Intensity can be tailored based on clients’ needs and goals.

Pilates could also be categorised as a flexibility and balance exercise regime such as yoga and tai-chi, improving both flexibility and balance (Colberg et al., 2016; Johnson et al., 2007; Phrompaet et al., 2011; Cruz-Ferreira et al., 2011).

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