Pilates An Overview


What is Pilates?

Pilates is an exercise system developed by Joseph Pilates to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility and improve overall health. Exercises are performed on a mat and on specially designed equipment. The Pilates system includes exercises for every part of the body and applications for every kind of activity. Created in the early part of the 20th century, Pilates was so far ahead of its time that it did not begin to achieve popular recognition until the first few years of the 21st century. Over a million people are now practicing Pilates in the United States and the numbers are growing every year.

Why is Pilates so popular?

Pilates focuses on engaging the mind with the body to create exercises that involve the whole body. Every exercise is performed with attention to the breath, proper form and efficient movement patterns. Pilates strengthens the core, improves balance, increases coordination and decreases stress. The exercises are safe and appropriate for anyone from 10 to 100. Pilates focuses on learning how to move better so the benefits are felt in everyday life.

Pilates is used in fitness centers, private studios, rehabilitation clinics and hospitals to improve the health and well-being of clients from the recently injured to the super fit. As more and more people participate, Pilates continues to grow and evolve to meet the needs of anyone wanting to improve their ability to move with strength, ease and grace.

Is Pilates right for me?

Pilates can provide an effective workout from which you will see positive results. It can help to sculpt and tone your muscles and improve your overall health. Maybe you want to increase your flexibility or cardiovascular endurance, or perhaps you want to tone your muscles without bulking up or you’re favoring a past or present injury. Maybe you want to improve your core strength and posture. An awareness of your fitness level and future goals can help you decide which workout method will benefit you the most.

At Lafayette PT we pride ourselves in our therapeutic approach to all services. Call our office or stop by the front desk if you are interested in trying Pilates and keep an eye out for our upcoming complimentary 30 minute group mini educational and trial sessions where we can go over how Pilates might work for your specific needs.

Written by Laura Laugel, CPI, CPT, BA

Pilates Instructor and Personal Trainer at Lafayette Physical Therapy.

This article is intended as general health information and is not intended to provide individual specific medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or any other individual. Please consult your doctor or a medical professional before starting or changing a health, fitness, or nutrition program.


St. John, Nora, Pilates Reformer Level 1 Pilates Instructor Training Manuel, Sacramento, CA. Balanced Body University, 2006.

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