The Pilates method, or simply Pilates, is a training system that aims to strengthen the body, shape it, correct posture and improve the fluidity and precision of movements.
It takes its name from Joseph Pilates, who developed it in the first half of the 20th century and developed the necessary equipment for its practice, using it to rehabilitate war veterans and train dancers and athletes.
What it’s for
Pilates aims to strengthen the body without excessively increasing muscle mass, to develop fluidity and precision of movement, and to improve or correct posture by working on the abdominal and back regions.
The method aims to achieve these objectives by performing slow movements, maintaining great concentration and attention to breathing, so that physical activity results in greater awareness of one’s body and the movements one performs.
How to practice
Pilates consists of a wide range of exercises to be performed either free-body or with the help of machines under the supervision of a specialised trainer who designs a programme based on the needs of the person.
Each exercise is repeated a few times compared to the long repetitions of other types of training, but must be performed slowly and with great precision.
It was Pilates belief that “a few well-planned and precisely executed movements, in a balanced sequence, are just as valuable as hours of forced and sloppily executed contortions”.
The exercises, designed to strengthen or stimulate specific parts of the body, may involve the use of the machines first developed by Joseph Pilates; these consist of bars, handles, elastic bands and instruments that serve to counteract force or accompany the movement.
Pilates aims to train the whole body, but the specific work it does on the central part of the body, on the abdominal, back and lumbar regions, makes this method particularly suitable for those who need to correct their posture and rebalance the loads on the spine.
Who can practice
Pilates has been used for rehabilitation or as a training method and, thanks to the quantity and diversity of exercises available, it can be adapted to each person’s abilities.
Choosing a specialised centre where to practice Pilates allows you to do the exercises with a trainer who will know how to calibrate the programme according to the particular needs of each person and can take into account any individual difficulties or problems.