Wellness lexicon

Pilates - Gentle muscle training to synchronise body and mind

Pilates trains the core muscles, which helps to sooth back pain, tones the legs, abdomen and bottom as well as improving the posture. It is also said that by practising Pilates, it has a deep relaxing effect and regular training leads to a strong body and good self-awareness.

Pilates was founded by Joseph Pilates in the early part of the 20th century. He was born 1883 in Mönchengladbach and died in New York in 1967. According to sources, he was a very delicate child, who suffered from rickets and asthma. Instead of just accepting these illnesses, he chose to exercise a lot. Later he started to develop his own exercises based on training methods from the Far East like Tai chi and Yoga. Joseph Pilates immigrated to New York in 1923, and it was there that he opened his first studio. Pilates only acquired its current name many years after his death. Joseph Pilates called his method contrology. During his lifetime he developed and improved his exercises constantly.

The six most important principles of Pilates:


As soon as one muscle is moved, another muscle begins to work. It is important to keep all thoughts focussed on the exercise being performed.


It is essential that these exercises are carried out with control. The more concentration you have and the more accurately they are performed, the quicker the results.


A great deal of strength is needed for good posture and fluid movements. During each exercise it is important to engage the muscles that form the powerhouse. This includes the muscles in the abdomen, pelvic floor, lower back, hips and buttocks. The powerhouse stabilises and protects the spine whilst exercising.

    Flow of movement

The transitions between the exercises should be as fluid as possible. This improves concentration.


All exercises should be carried out with precision to improve physical awareness


This plays a central role when practising Pilates. Powerful breathing stimulates the deeper muscles; enabling deep breathing and improving oxygen supply to the blood.




Related topics: Piloxing , Callanetics , Bodyforming

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