Pilates is the ‘new kid on the block’ of health exercises and the benefits of Pilates are making an impact on all of us interested in fitness and wellbeing.

If you are a dancer, a horse rider or a gymnast you may be already aware of colleagues or fellow enthusiasts taking advantage of the many benefits of Pilates.

Pilates exercise regime has become very popular with the groups above because it: -

  • Develops core abdominal muscular strength.
  • Improves posture
  • Increases flexibility
  • Strengthens the spine
  • Has an holistic benefit in reducing stress
  • Creates a feeling of focus and improved energy levels.

Sure enough the pilates exercises take their name from their inventor, Joseph Pilates following his experiences with martial arts and yoga.

The young Joseph inspired by his gymnast father developed his thoughts and theories in Germany in the 1920s to great effect.

He emphasised that the body is the only equipment required and the benefits of Pilates will be quickly realized.

“In 10 sessions the difference will be felt and after 30 you will have a totally new body”.

A brave statement but the dancers of Germany were the first to adopt and endorse the truth of this.

In 2010 it is the stars of Hollywood that are the greatest ambassadors.

Let’s say that you and I are not gymnasts or Hollywood stars, so what can Pilates do for ordinary mortals?

Well with only the use of a Pilates Ball and the help of an instructor, you or I can gain a toned and flexible muscular body, which can defy the stress and strains of modern day living.

In the world of office work, cars and commuting we neglect posture and this can lead to bad backs and stooping.

Pilates for beginners concentrates on good posture and breathing.

It helps you create the posture to allow more oxygen into your lungs and therefore brightens the brain and develops energy.

Earlier I mentioned horse riding.

A whole new approach has been developed to exercising to improve riding skills,'Equestrian Pilates' (more later, watch this site!).

This has been championed by weekend riders as well Olympic standard competitors. Top riders must be flexible and ‘sit well’ to allow the horse to perform at its best.

Today studios are rapidly springing up offering the benefits of Pilates for an increasingly health conscious and receptive audience.

I recommend a visit to Agnes's site.
Below is a sample.
What I mostly like about pilates, is that you gain a lean, firm, beautiful body. You can do it at home, whenever you have the time for it. An other great benefit is, that you can take it with you where ever you go. Once you have learned a few basic moves, they are easily memorized and you can do them. (It is also the favorite exercise of the stars).

Equestrian Pilates

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