Pilates: An Idea Recognized by All- Author Unknown, Adapted by Candy Mazze.
1. Pilates is a workout, a form of exercise that has been around for over 100 years. It was invented by a man named Joseph Pilates. The exercise started out as a way to control rickets, a disease that affects the skeletal system. Pilates had rickets, and it was making him frail. He tried to find ways to get stronger. He also tried using his mind to focus on the movements he created, believing he would become stronger. He proved himself right.
2. As Pilates developed the exercises more, the method became one that used deep toning and strengthening exercises of the body’s “core” to build strength. Stretching and breathing were also involved in the movements. The overall goal of Pilates was to improve and increase posture, balance, and strength.
3. Joseph Pilates was given the opportunity to try testing his exercises on others. He taught wounded soldiers the exercises and had the soldiers perform them in their hospital beds. The result? The soldiers got stronger, gained core strength, and healed more quickly. He now had proof – for himself and others – that the exercises worked and were beneficial. This was just the beginning.
4. As a result, the first Pilates studio was opened. After World War I, Joseph and his wife opened the studio in New York City. Dancers were the first clients, seeking the exercises to develop and improve their lean muscles, to tone and strengthen without making their legs bigger.
5. In the 1980s and 1990s, Pilates became more popular. People who were getting bored with aerobics and weight training became interested in this newer exercise. The exercises gave people similar results to the exercises they previously did, however, with more focus on strengthening, stretching, balance, and breathing. The slower, smoother movements of Pilates and its ability to be performed anywhere with little or no equipment were advantages that contributed to its popularity. Stars, celebrities, and athletes now rely on the Pilates method as part of their conditioning and training.