Pilates is a form of exercise that emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility, and awareness in order to support efficient, graceful movment. One of the best things about the Pilates method is that it works so well for a wide range of people. Athletes and dancers love it, as do seniors, women rebounding from pregnancy and people who are at various stages of physical rehabilitation. People report that the top benefits of doing Pilates exercises are that they become stronger, longer, leaner, and gain a greater ability to do anything with more grace and ease.
Core strength is the foundation of Pilates exercise. The core muscles are the deep, internal muscles of the abdomen and back. When the core muscles are strong and doing their job, as they are trained to do in Pilates, they work in tandem with the more superficial muscles of the trunk to support the spine and movement. As you develop your core strength you develop stability throughout your entire torso. This is one of the keys to how Pilates helps people overcome back pain. As the trunk is properly stabilized, pressure on the back is relieved and the body is able to move freely and efficiently.
Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates during WWI in hopes to improve rehabilitation efforts for injured veterans. Pilates developed a collection of precise movements that would emphasize the control and form necessary to aid injured soldiers as they worked to regain their health by strengthening, stretching and stabilizing key muscle groups.