Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates , after whom it was named. Pilates called his method “Contrology“. It is practiced worldwide, especially in Western countries such as Canada , the United States and the United Kingdom . As of 2005, there were 11 million people practicing the discipline regularly and 14,000 instructors in the United States.
If practiced with consistency, Pilates improves flexibility, builds strength and develops control and endurance in the entire body. It puts emphasis on alignment, breathing, developing a strong core , and improving coordination and balance. The core, consisting of the muscles of the abdomen, low back, and hips, is often called the “powerhouse”
Pilates dedicated his entire life to improving his physical strength. He was introduced by his father to gymnastics and body-building , and to martial arts like jiu-jitsu and boxing . He came to believe that the “modern” life-style, bad posture, and inefficient breathing lay at the roots of poor health. He ultimately devised a series of exercises and training techniques, and engineered all the equipment, specifications, and tuning required to teach his methods properly.