The humble origins of Pilates can be traced back to the 1920s, when Joseph Pilates developed the exercise to as a way to overcome his own physical shortcomings as a result of his childhood ailments; namely asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever.
As the technique started to enter the public consciousness, it was adopted and used by the rather odd combination of ballet dancers and soldiers. United in a common purpose, they ultimately found that Pilates was an effective way to recover from injuries, and to prevent their recurrence.
Today, Pilates is still widely regarded for its ability to improve core strength, focusing on flexibility and body awareness, without necessarily building bulk. However Pilates can also help with alignment, including the spine, abdomen, pelvis, hips, and the various muscles that support these structures. As a result there is evidence to suggest that Pilates can provide pain relief to people with non-specific lower back pain.
While Pilates involves a variety of movements and classes often vary in intensity, it does has something to offer people of all ages and levels of experience, from complete novices to elite athletes. Whether you’re looking to improve your sporting ability, or simply looking to stay fit and toned, Pilates is a great resistance workout with a variety of health benefits.