The Pilates method is a system of whole body approach exercises invented by Joseph Hubertus Pilates in the 1920′s. It emerged as a result of tremendous work on overcoming various debilitating physical conditions. Based on strong foundations derived from yoga, gymnastics and sports disciplines, the Pilates exercise programme was designed to enhance strength, endurance, flexibility and motor skills as well as actively engage the mind in the workout process.
J. H. Pilates successfully taught his contemporaries, establishing a prestigious studio in New York City, gaining clientele of a wide range: from dancers and actors to artists and sportsmen. He also delivered professional training to the Army and the Police Forces. His work attracted very eclectic and influential followers, resulting in thousands of Pilates accomplices being trained. Nowadays Pilates became a brand, a worldwide known name for an amazing body therapy form, resulting in many different schools and training centres being established.
The Pilates system mainly focuses on spinal stabilisation, strengthening of the core and addressing muscular imbalances in the body. It promotes a specific breathing method, allowing better utilising of oxygen and using more effectively the capacity of the lungs. Exercises teach correct engagement of the targeted, deep skeletal muscles as opposed to overusing big muscle groups. Postural awareness, trunk and core stability as well as efficient energy expenditure during movement are the factors minimising risks of injuries, maximising recovery potential and generally bringing greater control over own body performance. This type of exercise, although invented by a man, has been dominated by women devotees. The trend is, however, rapidly changing in the males advantage, enthusing athletes, footballers, cricketers, golfers, tennis and rugby players, and other fitness orientated professionals.