About Pilates

All Things Pilates

Evolved out of Joseph Pilates’ principles and teachings, Pilates is an innovative system of exercise designed to transform the way your body functions in everyday activities. Pilates builds strength, core stability, balance, flexibility, proprioception, and mental focus. Part of what sets Pilates apart from other types of workouts is the focus on the quality of movement over quantity of movement.

Mind-body exercise like Pilates is activity that keys on the mental focus of the physical movements being performed. With this type of exercise quality of movement is stressed over quantity of movement. You’ll often see instructors using a lot of verbal “cues” and coaching on things like the quality of breathing, rhythmic inhalation and exhalation during the exercise, and proper body alignment.

Pilates and mind-body exercise increase overall fitness, awareness, and focus.

Pilates benefits everyone. All ages, genders, and fitness abilities.

A proven system of exercise, Pilates transforms the way your body looks, feels, and performs. It teaches you how to connect your body, breathing, and alignment, and trains your mind and body to focus on every movement.

Origins of Pilates

A German immigrant, Joseph Pilates opened his fitness studio in New York City in 1926. But his system of exercise (now called Pilates) started before Joe came to America, and was shaped by events before, during and after World War I.

The Pilates Lawsuit

What’s in a name? Plenty, especially if the name is “Pilates,” one of the hottest fitness trends in America. An October 2000 decision in Manhattan’s federal court declared that Pilates, like yoga and karate, is an exercise method and not a trademark. The decision affected thousands of Pilates instructors who had been prevented from saying that they taught Pilates.

Living Pilates History

Unique perspectives on the roots of Pilates and mindful movement. See and hear those who were there when Joe and Clara were alive, and those who have come since. Hear their experiences and learn more about how we got to where we are today.

Pilates for Beginners

When you decide to try Pilates, the first question is where to start. You can find Pilates at Pilates studios, health clubs, recreation centers (such as YMCAs and JCCs), and physical therapy clinics. Most people begin with Mat Pilates which is the foundation of Joseph Pilates’ regimen and progress to Pilates Apparatus like the Reformer, Trapeze Table / Cadillac, Ladder Barrel, Arm Chair and Ped-o-pull.

Pilates at Home

The majority of people start Pilates in a studio. Today, Pilates enthusiasts also use online instruction and workouts to supplement their studio work, and offer them options to practice Pilates at home.

Pilates & Scoliosis

Pilates can help positively affect the myriad of factors involved with the crooked spine and unbalanced musculature associated with Scoliosis. With many Physical Therapists and Pilates instructors using Pilates in their Scoliosis treatment regimens, we created this resource page. If you have Pilates & Scoliosis resources to share, please let us know.