From ArticleWorld

Pilates is a method of exercise that uses the mind to control muscles. Joseph Pilates developed it in the early twentieth century. Joseph Pilates called his method “The Art of Contrology.” This referred to the way Pilates enabled the mind to control the muscles. It’s main focus to build up the postural muscles to promote balance, alignment and strength. It was originally designed to rehabilitate bed ridden influenza victims in 1918. It worked well because the movements were designed to be used in a controlled environment.

The Pilates Principles

Over 500 distinct exercises make up the Pilates Method. The exercises consist of a number of callisthenic movements that are performed without adding additional weight. (participants use their own body weight as resistance) This, he said, helped the body and mind work together. These exercises emphasized many aspects of the human body. These aspects were termed the Pilates Principles.

  • proper alignment
  • centering
  • concentration
  • control
  • precision
  • breathing
  • flowing movement

These principles were said to increase flexibility, mental awareness, mental concentration, muscle tone, strength, and overall body awareness. In addition to body weight, Joseph Pilates designed exercise equipment that would aid in the overall effectiveness f the exercises.


Pilates is not designed for complete physical fitness as it includes no element of cardiovascular training. In addition, the avoidance of high impact, high power output and heavy loading make it not as effective as other methods for building strength.