When deciding on a fitness program, if you want a well-rounded program that helps develop a strong core and flexibility, you should consider trying Pilates. This fitness system has been very popular with women because of its combination of improving coordination, balance, muscle tone and body alignment.
The foundation of the program is developing your core strength through various exercises. The analogy of a tree is often used, citing the fact that a tree has its strength in the trunk and not in its limbs. That is the same principle used in the Pilates exercise program with most of the focus keying on the core muscles and not on arms and legs.
The Pilates system is used in many rehabilitation programs because using Pilates has been proven to help people with physical impairments.
While Pilates has seen a huge growth over the last 20 years, it has actually been around for over 100 years, having been originated by Joseph Pilates from Germany early in the 20th century.
When Pilates first became popular in the U.S., it was mainly seen in upscale health clubs. Today you can find Pilates classes in all kinds of fitness centers as well as available on DVD’s. There are now over 15,000 Pilates instructors and over 12 million people practicing Pilates.
The Pilates workout has come a long way from its original inception in which most of the exercises were done on mats. Now there are many types of apparatus used for doing the various exercises. Some of the apparatus used include the Cadillac, the Reformer, the Wunda Chair, the Spine Corrector, and many more.
The Pilates program continues to evolve with newer versions of Pilates workouts that include different apparatus and different exercises. The main underlying theme of this program remains developing core strength and an overall more balanced and toned body.
There are six basic principles of Pilates and they are center, control, concentration, breathing, precision, and flow. There have been some modifications to these principles by newer versions of Pilates but these principles are the cornerstones of the program.
If you decide to start using Pilates you should see an improvement in your overall body fitness and a greater awareness of your body. This program can help with nagging aches and pains and give you greater balance and coordination.
Pilates is not just for women and can do wonders for both sexes and people of all ages.