The word “Pilates” is popping up everywhere. But what is it? And how do you say it? Pilates, pronounced pie-LAH-tes, is a form of exercise that fosters strength, balance, flexibility, breathing, and inner awareness. Pilates has steadily gained popularity among physical therapists because it is a non-impact type of exercise that can be performed by people with limited physical ability, pregnant women, and those who use wheelchairs or are rehabilitating from injuries.
You may be surprised to learn that Pilates is not new at all. It was developed by Joseph Pilates and used in the United States since 1926, mainly with dancers, actors, and athletes. Physical therapist began incorporating Pilates in rehabilitation in the 1990s, and researching it in the early 2000s.
When you begin Pilates, the instructor will evaluate you and create a program uniquely for your needs. You will perform exercises, stretches, and use exercise machines to strengthen and lengthen your muscles. Your instructor will cue you about breathing. The smooth movements do not promote muscle bulk. One of the reasons Pilates is so popular is that it is so enjoyable!