It was created in the early 1920s by the German Joseph Hubertus Pilates and, today, it is more popular than ever. Joseph Pilates, while working as a nurse in a concentration camp during the First World War, developed a method to help other inmates improve their state of health. To do so, he combined his knowledge of gymnastics, yoga and traumatology with relaxation, breathing and mental control exercises.
Nowadays, the Pilates method is known internationally and is widely used as therapy in rehabilitation and as a tool to prevent and treat back pain. Through a series of anaerobic exercises (that is to say, physical activities performed for a short period of time and using strength) we strengthen the muscles of our body and increase our flexibility, strength and control over it. Although burning calories is not the main objective of this discipline, we expend energy when we practice it, and, therefore, it also helps us to maintain a balanced weight.
In our Pilates classes in Madrid, we adopt its six essential principles: control, concentration, flow, precision, breathing and centre. The centre principle refers to a specific area of the body that Joseph Pilates called core strength. This area is made up of the muscles of the abdomen, the base of the back and the buttocks. The aim of exercising the core strength is to strengthen the rest of the body.
Pilates has numerous physical and mental health benefits. Keep reading to learn more about them!
1- Helps you to get to know your body
Pilates helps us to disconnect in order to reconnect. Thanks to the deep muscular work and breathing control, we get to know our body better, we become more aware of our limitations and of what our body is capable of doing.
2. You achieve body and mind balance
We hear the term “mindfulness” a lot these days. It is a state of awareness and attentiveness that is very difficult to reach on a daily basis. Apart from improving our muscle tone, Pilates helps us to find moments of relaxation and peace of mind.
3. Improves your body posture
Back pain is that annoying enemy that sedentary workers, people with a medical condition or older people can suffer from. Pilates exercises help us to work on our back and abdominal muscles, which results in a more toned body and has a positive effect on our body posture.
4. Relieves pain
Regardless of your physical condition, Pilates adapts to you. Each exercise can be adjusted and adapted to the ability of every body. It also helps to strengthen the extremities of the body, which is why it is so popular with people with articular and muscular ailments.
5. Helps you sleep better
The relaxation and state of mindfulness that we achieve with Pilates also helps us to sleep better. Not to mention that by doing Pilates we release endorphins, the neurotransmitters responsible for making us feel happy and satisfied.