What Is Pilates: A beginners Guide To Different Types of Pilates | Pilates Definition, Exercises, Workout, & Health Benefits
What Is Pilates?
The exercise form of Pilates is named for its creator, Joseph Hubertus Pilates who was born in Germany in 1883. As a young man, Joseph accepted a position in 1912 teaching self-defense to detectives at Scotland Yard. With the outbreak of WWI, Joseph was interned because of his German heritage. It was as an internment prisoner that Pilates developed his extremely popular exercise philosophy. As an athletic individual with limited resources, he developed the Pilates system which focuses on developing core strength through a series of repetitive movements using resistance. Pilates initially rose to fame in the international dance community as it focused on core strength and overall body toning. This exercise philosophy emphasizes proper breathing, spinal and pelvic alignment, and the importance of full concentration. It works to help the practitioner gain longer, leaner muscles as well as increased flexibility.
Pilates can be a very rewarding exercise program, especially for those looking to tone and build core strength. As it also increases flexibility and balance, it is an ideal program for dancers, gymnasts, and swimmers among other key sports. Joseph Pilates believed that the quality of the movement is more important that the number of repetitions; therefore, a comprehensive Pilates workout focuses on executing exercises for their maximum benefit over simply repeating exercises. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1926 and opened a fitness studio in New York City. The rest, as they say, is history!
Health Benefits of Pilates
Engaging in a regular Pilates workout can yield a wide vary of health benefits. Committed practitioners see better muscle strength, increased muscle tone, improved overall flexibility, and a stronger, more balanced core (abdominal, lower back, hip, and glute regions). A regular practice can also yield improved breathing, posture, balance, and ability to focus and concentration throughout the day. Some individuals also report better sleeping patterns. All regular Pilates exercisers report weight loss with a dedicated program.
Different Types of Pilates
As the popularity of Pilates grew, different forms of this exercise began to emerge. Today, there are several different types of Pilates modified by instructors. The most popular forms of Pilates include Fletcher, Stott, Winsor, Power, and Gyrotonic Pilates. While all these forms adhere to the core philosophy of Joseph Pilates’ approach to exercise, they each focus on different elements. Let’s take a quick look at the differences.