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Loads of abdominal work to stabilize you core muscles creating a firmer, stronger and tighter midriff. While lengthening the spine.

modern western workout which is about 80 years old focusing on strengthen the core muscles group including abdominal, back, leg, gluteus & waist


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History of Pilates

The Pilates method of exercise was created by Joseph Pilates, who was born in 1880 near Dusseldorf, Germany. Joe was frail as a child, suffering from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. He overcame his physical limitations with exercise and body building, becoming a model for anatomical drawings at the age of 14. He became accomplished in many sports, including skiing, diving and gymnastics. Joe went to England in 1912, where he worked as a self-defense instructor for detectives at Scotland Yard. At the outbreak of World War I, Joe was interned as an "enemy alien" with other German nationals. During his internment, Joe refined his ideas and trained other internees in his system of exercise. He rigged springs to hospital beds, enabling bedridden patients to exercise against resistance, an innovation that led to his later equipment designs. An influenza epidemic struck England in 1918, killing thousands of people, but not a single one of Joe's trainees died. This, he claimed, testified to the effectiveness of his system.

After his release, Joe returned to Germany. His exercise method gained favor in the dance community, primarily through Rudolf von Laban, who created the form of dance notation most widely used today. Hanya Holm adopted many of Joe's exercises in her program, and they are still part of the "Holm Technique." When Joe was asked to teach his fitness system to the German army, he decided to leave Germany for good. In 1923, he emigrated to the United States. During the voyage he met Clara, whom he later married. Joe and Clara opened a fitness studio in New York, sharing an address with the New York City Ballet.

Pilates Exercise Aims

Pilates is an exercise form emphasising body alignment and correct breathing while focusing on the lower and deeper abdominals on the one hand and the mid-back and part of the shoulder muscles on the other. The goal of Pilates is to provide a greater understanding of postural alignment during movement of the human body in the three dimensional planes. This is achieved by controlled movements, proper biomechanics and flow of movement in a variety of positions (standing, prone, side-laying, supine, sitting & kneeling ).

 Through Pilates people are instructed in how to move according to the body's natural harmony and alignment - moving in a way that the body is designed to move. Joseph Pilates emphasise that the way the body is used in the modern world (with people sitting all day, engaging in repetitive tasks) cannot remain healthy, and his Pilates exercises were designed to address this problem.

Benefits of the Pilates Method

The Pilates Method of body conditioning promotes physical harmony and balance for people of all ages and physical conditions while providing a refreshing and energizing workout.

Because conditioning sessions are done one-to-one with a certified teacher or in closely supervised small groups, each session is tailored to your specific needs.

Regardless of your current level of fitness - from sedentary office worker to fitness enthusiast - the Pilates Method can be your primary mode of body conditioning and injury prevention.

Recently discovered by physical therapists, chiropractors and orthopedists, The Pilates Method of body conditioning can also be integrated into rehabilitative exercise and physical therapy programs designed to speed recovery of soft tissue injuries.

The Pilates Method can be safely used by pregnant women to learn proper breathing and body alignment, improve concentration, and recover body shape and tone after pregnancy.

An Introduction to Pilates

Pilates dramatically transforms the way your body looks, feels and performs. It builds strength without excess bulk, creating a sleek, toned body with slender thighs and a flat abdomen. It teaches body awareness, good posture and easy, graceful movement. Pilates imroves flexibility, agility and economy of motion. It can even help alleviate back pain.

The Benefits of Pilates
?Builds strength without “bulking up?br> ?Increases flexibility and agility
?Develops optimal core control
?Creates flat abdominals, slender thighs & strong back
?A refreshing mind-body workout
?Challenging, yet safe

Develops a Strong Core
Pilates develops a strong “core,?or center of the body. The core consists of the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. Pilates exercises develop core control, integrating the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle.

 Builds Long Muscles and Flexible Joints
Conventional workouts tend to build short, bulky muscles - the type most prone to injury. Pilates elongates and strengthens, developing muscle elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured.


Creates an Evenly Conditioned Body
In conventional workouts, weak muscles tend to get weaker and strong muscles tend to get stronger. The result is muscular imbalance - a primary cause of injury and chronic back pain. Pilates conditions the whole body - even the ankles and feet. No muscle group is over trained or under trained. Your entire musculature is evenly balanced and conditioned, helping you enjoy daily activities and sports with greater ease and less chance of injury.


Trains Efficient Patterns of Motion

Pilates exercises train several muscle groups at once in smooth, continuous movements. By developing proper technique, you can actually re-train your body to move in safer, more efficient patterns of motion - invaluable for injury recovery, sports performance, good posture and optimal health.


Improves the Mind-Body Connection

Pilates gets your mind in tune with your body. By emphasizing proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and complete concentration on smooth, flowing movement, you become acutely aware of how your body feels, where it is in space, and how to control its movement. The quality of movement is valued over quantity of repetitions. Proper breathing is essential. Correct breathing helps you execute movements with maximum power and efficiency. Last but not least, learning to breathe properly can reduce stress.


A Great, Low Impact Workout
No other exercise system is so gentle to your body while giving it a challenging workout. Many of the exercises are performed in reclining or sitting positions, and most are low impact and partially weight bearing. Pilates is used in many physical therapy facilities to rehabilitate injuries.


Navigate through this site and learn the history of the Pilates Method of body conditioning and its benefits. Locate a certified teacher or studio in your area, discover the value of teacher certification, chat in our Forum or shop on-line to purchase videos, books, clothing and equipment. Many famous people have stepped through the doors of studios, gaining a new outlook on fitness. Including actors such as Sharon Stone, Courtney Cox, Minnie Driver, Madonna and Julia Roberts, as well as athletes such as the San Francisco 49ers and the Cincinnati Bengals. Visit the Pilates Guild page and discover a community of certified teachers from diverse backgrounds in the dance, fitness and business world. The thread linking this community is dedication to excellence. Our certified teachers have met the challenge head on, completing a year of intense physical training to attain certification and serve you with integrity, commitment and talent. By accessing our archives will find current information in publications such as Time, People, Cosmopolitan and The New York Times, which herald the popularity of this seventy year old technique, now coming of age. With all the hype surrounding the Pilates Method today, it can be confusing to locate a reputable source. Many people have jumped on the bandwagon, with various degrees of training ranging from one week-end to just a few months. Although some may be talented teachers, many teach excercises based on ideas and concepts of Joseph Pilates work, which may be combined with elements from other techniques or methods of exercise. These changes fundamentally alter the nature of the exercises, so that they may resemble the Pilates Method, but are really something very different. Others may teach only floor or "mat" exercises. Only instructors who are certified and licensed by The Pilates Studio?have completed the kind of rigorous, hands-on training program that Joseph Pilates deemed necessary. Pilates, Inc.'s mission is to preserve and perpetuate Joseph Pilates' original system of body conditioning and protect its trademarkS, Authentic Pilates?and The Pilates Studio? This ensures the public that they are getting the classic Pilates Method of body conditioning and a safe and consistent workout.The Pilates Center is a full-service, state of the art, client focused Pilates exercise facility offering personalized private lessons and group classes. The Pilates Center is an internationally renowned Teacher Training school that has been labeled "The Harvard of Pilates Teacher Training Programs". We offer the most rigorous and comprehensive program available. Our 200-plus graduates teach all over the world. The Pilates Center was established in 1990 in Boulder, Colorado by sisters, Amy Taylor Alpers and Rachel Taylor Segel. Deeply anchored in Pilates history, both were certified by Romana Kryzanowska, heir to the classical tradition of Joseph Pilates. Our mission is to empower people to be in control of their own health and well-being through the Pilates method of exercise. We hope you enjoy our site. Please feel free to Contact Us for further information. "There is only one way to say it. The Pilates Center of Boulder Colorado is the Harvard of the Pilates schools. TPC is the incredible vision of the sisters; Amy and Rachel and their incredible staff. Their respect, love and passion for the body of work of Joseph Pilates only augments the high standards that they generously pass on to new generations. ... teaching can be an art form; which is different from being taught the alphabet of The Pilates Method." --Noam Gagnon Artistic Director, The Holy Body Tattoo Vancouver, British Columbia.The Pilates Method is a program that improves muscle control, flexibility, coordination, strength and tone through physical and mental conditioning. It works on deep muscles and the spine, the most important structure in the body and the source of the nervous system. It is a fitness regime that combines stretching and strengthening exercises designed to work the entire body in fluid movements. Pilates' work is concerned with the process itself. It works by building strength from the inside - out and rebalancing the body. Through continuous involvement in the process of movement, the goal is reached by a natural evolution, in contrast to a forced result. Pilates is a method that aims to create a balance in the body, designed to cater for the needs of the individual...What is Pilates? An Exercise in Balance: The Pilates Phenomenon "I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They'd be happier." - Joseph Hubertus Pilates, in 1965, age 86 Well, maybe not the whole world, but certainly much of this country, parts of Canada, Europe, and Pan-Asia are experiencing the explosion in demand for Pilates, a method of exercise and physical movement designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body. With systematic practice of specific exercises coupled with focused breathing patterns, Pilates has proven itself invaluable not only as a fitness endeavor itself, but also as an important adjunct to professional sports training and physical rehabilitation of all kinds. Widely embraced among dancers for years, the exercises--"elephant," "swan", the language--"pull navel to spine, and breeaaaathe," and the look--bright-eyed, refreshed, buoyant-without-necessarily-sweating, is popping up in fitness classes, physical therapy offices, corporate retreats, luxury spas and wellness centers across the country. Another fad? A cult for the over-privileged? Think again. With the aging of our population and the increasing trend toward mindful, moderate health practices, Pilates is more likely to find itself with a wait list at the YMCA, and in your local public schools--shaping the fitness ideals of our next generation. Practiced faithfully, Pilates yields numerous benefits. Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep, healthy breathing is a primary focus. Strength and flexibility, particularly of the abdomen and back muscles, coordination-both muscular and mental, are key components in an effective Pilates program. Posture, balance, and core strength are all heartily increased. Bone density and joint health improve, and many experience positive body awareness for the first time. Pilates teaches balance and control of the body, and that capacity spills over into other areas of one's life. Joseph Pilates, demonstrating the importance of his unique exercise equipment Around 1914, Joseph Pilates was a performer and a boxer living in England and, at the outbreak of WWI, was placed under forced internment along with other German nationals in Lancaster, England. There he taught fellow camp members the concepts and exercises developed over 20 years of self-study and apprenticeship in yoga, Zen, and ancient Greek and Roman physical regimens. It was at this time that he began devising the system of original exercises known today as "matwork", or exercises done on the floor. He called this regimen "Contrology." A few years later, he was transferred to another camp, where he became a nurse/caretaker to the many internees struck with wartime disease and physical injury. Here, he began devising equipment to rehabilitate his "patients," taking springs from the beds and rigging them to create spring resistance and "movement" for the bedridden. In a way, Pilates equipment today is not much different than that of yesteryear. Spring tension, straps to hold feet or hands, supports for back, neck and shoulder are as important now as it was then. Because of the remarkable nature of the equipment to both challenge and support the body as it learns to move more efficiently, the inimitably designed pieces truly act as a complement to the challenging "matwork" exercises. Joseph Pilates, on Pilates While Joe was the outspoken force behind his method, his wife Clara, a trained nurse, quietly incorporated his concepts and exercises in ways that benefited more seriously ill or injured clients. Her approachable style and special techniques spawned a dedicated lineage of teachers whose work flows through and uniquely colors the landscape of the Pilates method today. It is perhaps because of Clara that Pilates is clearly recognized as a positive form of movement-based exercise that truly can be tailored to any level of not just fitness, but also of health. Joseph Pilates, on natural movement and the period of time taken to study the human body. Long-time instructors who knew Joe maintain he and Clara would be very happy and proud of the popularity and growth of Pilates. However, it is less clear how he might feel about the influx of "quickie certifications" available for would-be instructors wanting to be trained in a weekend or two. Joe worked at length with his own instructors, allowing them to assist and then finally teach after sometimes as long as 2 or 3 years of training and apprenticeship. He was quoted as saying, "Remember Rome was not built in a day." and "Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor." While excellent training programs exist in the marketplace today, some are clearly condensed and homogenized, producing less-than-adequately qualified instructors. Prices for classes range from 10$-$20 for group mat sessions, to upwards of $50-$100 for one hour of one-on-one instruction utilizing the full repertoire of Pilates equipment. Comprehensively, competently trained and knowledgeable instructors are the essential element in realizing one's potential, and enjoying the process of learning Pilates. To define, maintain, and support the commitment to training and education of Pilates instructors, the Pilates Method Alliance?was formed in 1999 as the nation's professional organization for the Pilates method of exercise. Members are required to participate in ongoing training, and must provide documentation to remain in good standing. The PMA?has set guidelines and recommendations for teacher training programs, and is in the process of establishing a National Certification Exam for the Pilates Method. For more information, and to locate an instructor in your area, call us toll-free at (866) 573-4945 or visit the Find a Member section of this web site.

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