Pilates is an exercise method created by Joseph H. Pilates, who was born in Germany in 1880. As a child he was frail, had asthma and other conditions. Due to his health conditions, he dedicated himself to getting fit in order to be stronger and healthier, and at 14 he had a strong body and health.
During World War I in 1914, he was in a concentration camp working as a nurse, and he designed exercise methods and equipment for immobilized patients and soldiers. Eventually Pilates immigrated to the US and created in New York ‘The Pilates Studio’ which still exists. In Brazil there are 13 ‘The Pilates Studio’ franchises, and even though it has been there for only 6 years it has attracted thousands of people to its classes.
In the US, Pilates is the fastest growing fitness activity. Famous people like Madonna, Julia Roberts and Tiger Woods swear by it, and its popularity has grown fast among athletes due to the increase in flexibility, improve posture, balance and coordination the exercise brings to people.
Pilates is a body conditioning routine that seeks to build flexibility, strength, endurance, and coordination concentrating on the “powerhouse” or the body’s core section (torso). The machines are still the same created back when Pilates developed the technique, and use springs to resist the power applied by the person using it. He also developed the ‘mat Pilates’, which is very popular in some gyms and clubs in the US.
Nowadays there is one downside to Pilates; because Pilates has been growing more and more in popularity, and perhaps by the fact that there is not enough certified instructors to supply the demand, prices are still higher than other fitness activities. In Los Angeles though, many clubs and gyms offer mat Pilates classes as part of its regular schedules, and might be worth a try.