So, what is Pilates?

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So, what is Pilates?

The word Pilates has now entered our vocabulary so much that its now rare to hear anyone mispronounce it as ‘Pilots”. It even has its own entry in the Oxford Dictionary: ‘a system of exercise using special apparatus, designed to improve physical strength, flexibility and posture, and enhance mental awareness’.

So, should I just leave it there, in the esteemed hands of the Oxford people? No, because I prefer the online Cambridge dictionary definition: ‘a brand name for a system of physical exercise involving controlled movements, stretching and breathing’.
Special apparatus optional!

Am I satisfied with that? No. Are you?

Here are some of the answers I give when asked ‘So, what is Pilates?

  • its a philosophy of exercise that encourages mindful movement and postural awareness.
  • It’s about exercising the body from the deepest to the most superficial muscles.
  • It is a series of exercises that strengthen the postural muscles, the closest muscles to the skeleton, the ones that keep us up against gravity all day.
  • It’s main focus is on strengthening, with gains in flexibility made through moving the joints and muscles through large ranges of movement, rather than simply holding muscle stretches at end range.
  • It exercises your body from the inside out, as every movement undertaken starts with a switching on of the deepest muscles, those closest to the skeleton, followed by the surface muscles.
  • It is a diverse range of exercises that uses everything from the persons own body, to gravity, to springs, to weights, to balls so as to challenge, stretch and strengthen the muscles, balance, posture, co-ordination.

Are we happy with that?

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