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In the eighties and nineties of the last century, Pilates experienced world popularity. At that time, every person from the world of show business attributed their figure to Pilates. This method of exercise is based on a series of exercises aimed at achieving muscle strength and muscle flexibility. Great attention is paid to the flexibility of the joints. The ultimate goal is optimal physical balance.
Pilates is the legacy and life work of Joseph Pilates
Joseph Pilates developed his system of physical exercises during the first half of the 20th century. His father was a gymnast. The mother practiced naturopathy in Mehengladbach (Germany). Joseph soon begins to practice growing up in such an environment. Joseph then tries out all the methods of gaining good health. Joseph’s method arose as a synthesis of acquired experience. It is aimed at achieving good physical and spiritual health. Joseph called this method Contrology. His students preferred to use his last name as a label for the system of exercises he taught them. Joseph developed specific aids and props for practice. Some of his inventions are in use today. The modern Pilates method is based on the changes that his students have made over the past decades. Classical Pilates has its active proponents. Numerous variations of both directions are used today. The basic principles have generally remained unchanged.
The first modern book on Pilates
The first modern book on Pilates was called The Pilates Method of Psychical and Mental Conditioning. It was published in 1980 by Gale Eisen and Frank Philip Friedman.
They were students of Mrs. Romana Krizhanovski. Romana was a former student of Joseph Pilates. This book is important because it highlights 6 basic principles of Pilates: breathing, control, concentration, centering, perfect movements and precision. Special emphasis is on strengthening the internal muscles of the back, pelvis and the so-called “house of power” (muscles of the abdomen, lower back and thighs). According to Pilates, there is a center of power from which every movement should start. Great attention is paid to breathing because it needs to be harmonized with the movements. The movements should be performed correctly, precisely and perfectly with the full concentration of the exerciser. Joseph believed that once an exerciser learned all 6 principles he could easily apply them to all other aspects of life. It makes every individual successful, stronger and happy.
The great advantage of Pilates is flexibility. This method allows exercisers of different ages and levels of physical fitness to adapt the training to their own abilities. Joseph designed the exercises to minimize the possibility of injury. This is one of the advantages of this exercise method.
It should be said that the Pilates method is not focused on increasing a person’s muscle mass, but more on strengthening muscle mass and toning the whole body. With regular exercise, the muscles become elongated and functional. The whole body becomes more supple as the posture straightens. Achieving control over one’s own body leads to the strengthening of an individual’s self-confidence. It has a positive effect on relieving stress in everyday life. You should check the coach’s references before you start training. Consultation with a doctor (about the level you may impose on yourself) is also mandatory.