Pilates and Pilates Equipment

The Pilates exercise and Pilates equipment as we understand it was created by Joseph Pilates. Dynamic Pilates manly are excellent at helping to keep the neck & back protected whilst still offering amazingly transformational exercises.

Pilates was a character and a pugilist who lived in England at the beginning of the 20th century. At the onset of World War 1, he was placed under forced internment along with various German nationals in Lancaster, England. There he taught fellow inmates the concepts and exercises that he had developed during 20 years of self-study and practice in yoga, Zen, and old Greek and Roman bodily regimens.

The exercises are a methodical routine which is intended to develop your body’s constitution with balancing, stretching, strengthening and breathing. Devotees testify it can dramatically reshape hips, thighs and backside, improve upon abdominal strength and muscle length and benefit vertebral alignment.

Pilates exercise can not only dramatically alter the way your body looks, but also the way it feels and performs. The exercises set free natural hormones called endorphins in your body which fight pain, stress and relieve depression.


Pilates based his teachings on other exercise methods from all round the world, amongst them the mind-body formats of yoga and Chinese martial arts. Resolved to overcome his own ailments, he began to investigate anatomy as well as Eastern and Western forms of exercise, together with Yoga, weight training, gymnastics and acrobatics.

In many regards the conditioning is comparable with yoga, although some declare it is superior to yoga overall since it strengthens the body naturally, improving posture tone and resilience through stretching. The core difference is that whilst yoga requires moving from one static pose to the next without repetitions, Pilates exercise flows via a succession of movements that are more dynamic, systematic and anatomically-based. It’s a well-choreographed yoga workout that moves gracefully between static poses and more flexible moves, that are both challenging and relaxing.


After a few years, Joseph Pilates was transferred to a different camp where he worked as a nurse/caretaker. It was here that he started developing equipment that would permit his patients to exercise whilst in a prone or sitting position; thereby avoiding heavy strain on the heart and lungs.

This early equipment was made by using springs from beds and rigging them, using timber, so as to allow the confined patients to benefit from movement and resistance.

Although there are more than 500 different exercises described in the Pilates routine, the basic exercises can be performed on a simple floor mat. The exercises can also be performed in your home using ordinary fitness equipment.

Nevertheless there are many pieces of equipment that may be used to advance the benefits of the exercises. Some exercises are performed on specialized Pilates equipment including the Reformer, Cadillac and Ladder Barrel.

Some Pilates equipment, like the classic Pilates Circles, proffer spring resistance, others like the Spine Supporter, offer support, and a diversity of unique exercises for the entire body can be performed on each piece. Often, a purely mat-based practice is a genuine and successful workout by itself, but if you have the occasion to explore some Pilates equipment under the tutelage of a qualified professional, do so.

The most common piece of equipment in any Pilates studio is the Reformer (a movable carriage for pushing and pulling). However a fully equipped specialist gym would have other spring and gravity based resistance equipment, e.g. Reformers Circles, Cadillac/Trap Table, Wunda Chair, Pedipull Barrels and Ladder Barrel


Unlike other forms of exercise, you are unlikely to get too hot when practicing, so clothing should be light and stretchable. Most people practice in bare feet as you are unlikely to slide on the floor mat.


Although you should always follow advice from your doctor before starting any fitness routine, a Pilates workout is measured and controlled with no sudden jarring actions and, unlike many fitness programs, Pilates exercises are not based on the principle “more is better”. The moves are very simple and slow, perfect for any fitness level and very likely to be appealing to beginners.

How quickly you get fit depends on several intrinsic factors: your existing degree of fitness, how quickly you understand the concepts, how often you do the workout routine and even how committed you are to continuing.

Pilates exercise is also said to ward off varicose veins, haemorrhoids and low back pain and helps to boost self esteem, maintain fitness levels and prepare the body for the physical demands of motherhood.

You’ll probably find that many fitness centres and YMCA’s offer Pilates classes, mostly in mat work. Fitness balls are available anywhere exercise equipment is sold, from all the big discount stores, to fitness stores, gyms and studios, and of course, online.

One of the advantages of going to a studio is that you will find it hosts a big family of health-minded people supporting each other in losing weight and improving fitness levels. Professional athletes and dancers, pre- and post-natal women, senior citizens, weekend warriors, and couch potatoes alike are enjoying his unique method of attaining physical fitness.


Pilates exercises improve the body’s core, which includes the muscles in the abdomen, back, and buttocks. Pilates exercises can be performed on a mat, with literally hundreds of beginner to advanced moves available in the repertoire for a well-rounded workout on the floor. Pilates exercise does not jar the joints and is particularly useful for those having a history of joint problems.

Pilates exercises also improve the mind’s ability to concentrate.

It is not necessary to join a gym or studio to benefit from the exercise, but if you do you will find a wealth of equipment and advice to assist you.

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