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Ph.D. University of Oregon Curriculum, Psychology 1997
The Skinny about Pilates
|Written by Jeff Behar, MS, MBA|
The Pilates "method," as it is now known, is an exercise system focused on improving flexibility , strength, and body awareness, without necessarily building bulk. It is resistance exercise, not aerobic ( cardio ).
Pilates is closer to weight lifting than it is to aerobic activities, and it should be considered resistance exercise.
Pilates was created in the 1920s by the physical trainer Joseph Pilates (1880-1967) for the purpose of rehabilitation.
Pilates is a series of controlled movements performed on specially designed spring-resistant exercise apparatus (the Reformer, the Ladder Barrel, the Cadillac, the Spine Corrector and the Wunda Chair) or on the floor (mat work).
Two of the key elements of Pilates are core muscle strength and spinal alignment. The core musculature is loosely defined as the spine, abdomen, pelvis, hips, and the muscles that support these structures. Some of the main core muscles are the erector spinae (located in your back along your spine), the internal and external obliques (the sides of your abdomen), the transverse abdominis (located deep in your gut, this muscle pulls your belly button in toward your spine), the rectus abdominis (the "six-pack"), and hip flexors (in your pelvis and upper leg).
During a Pilates session, whether it's on the machines or the floor, the emphasis will be placed on your core mus...