Pilates was originally designed to treat the injured and bedridden soldiers of World War I. Although it was developed for its clinical and rehabilitation purposes, Pilates has become extremely popular with dancers, gymnasts and celebrities seeking the long and lean-muscled look. Today the Pilates method is widely practised for both its rehabilitation as well as its fitness benefits.

Pilates is effective in clinical therapy because of its strong focus on good posture, efficient movement and strengthening of proper musculature. With better body awareness through Pilates, one's posture, motor control and precision in movement can be improved. This results in better, more productive and efficient muscle functions during the workout, which can then be applied in daily life. Pilates rehabilitation also helps to improve one's overall flexibility and mobility through its controlled, low-impact movements.

Regular practice of Pilates will ensure improved balance, coordination and circulation as well as increased core strength and stability. Pilates emphasizes controlled movements and correct breathing which helps to ease pain, stiffness and rigid joints. Pilates is especially useful for persons suffering from neck and back pains.

Pilates is also an excellent exercise method for those wanting total body conditioning as well as building muscle mass and long, lean muscles similar to those of celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Pippa Middleton and Angelina Jolie.
Pilates strengthens your core muscles, improves your posture and ensures you undertake your daily activities pain-free. Regular weight training exercises tend to build short, bulky muscles where Pilates creates long, lean muscles and teaches your brain to connect with your body, increasing each exercises' effectiveness. Pilates also equips you with the underlying principles of how to coordinate your body movements correctly so there will be less risk of injury.

Pilates is especially important to do because it strengthens your ‘core’ muscles, the stabilizing muscles. The very muscles that hold you up.. giving you better posture to do your daily routine in, creating a strong centre in you so that you perform all tasks with ease and balance, ensuring that you live a pain-free existence because you are moving your body correctly. Pilates teaches you to connect your brain with your body, making all exercises you do more efficient and more effective.

Although it looks like a straight forward series of stretches, Pilates can be challenging and keeps your heart pumping in the target zone so you burn more calories in less time. By the time you reach an intermediate level you would have developed strong awareness in moving rapidly through the exercises without losing proper form and your stronger core will take you from one exercise to the next with precision and control. For optimum fitness results incorporate the principles of Pilates into your regular workout routine to combine form with function, add depth and proficiency to enjoy a great workout each time.

The Pilates workout engages you both mentally and physically. Pilates also places great emphasis on the core stabilization of the body and realigns the body to prevent muscular imbalances. All Pilates exercises are scientifically-based, gentle and restorative, and can be modified to meet the needs of each individual. Pilates was also designed as a mind-body regime that reduces stress and anxiety through consistent practice. You will benefit from Pilates through an increased flexibility in your movements, overall functional strength in your body, achieve the six-pack feel inside and out, prevent ageing that comes with sedentarism and keep at bay all risk of injury, aches and pains.

Author's Bio: 

Mrs Claudel Kuek, www.powermoves.com.sg at Bishan Park, Dempsey Hill and Rochester Park; click here to find out if Pilates is what you really need!