Originally referred to as “Contrology”, Pilates has become one of the most popular workout classes in America and across the globe. Developed in the early 20th century, Pilates was intended to focus on the art of control – of the body, mind, and muscles. Founder Joe Pilates’ original sequence of 34 exercises is still widely used, save for a few modern adaptations. This exercise system is one that carries numerous health benefits, in addition to being a fun, motivating class that can be done in a group setting. While a lot of emphasis is placed on developing a strong core, there is a lot more to Pilates than a six pack. Integrating elements of yoga, martial arts, and various Western forms of exercise, Pilates truly has it all. Beyond simply working to strengthen the body, Pilates classes can help improve posture, muscle tone, flexibility, and joint mobility, as well as relieve stress, tension, and anxiety.
Using a mat as well as specific exercise machines, Pilates exercises go above and beyond what many are accustomed to. While the slew of equipment used can be intimidating to start, class goers will quickly become accustomed to the various machines and props needed. Whether you are new to Pilates or simply interested in learning more about this beneficial exercise system, we thought it would be fun to go over a few fun facts about Pilates.
- The original machine was call the “magic circle”. When Joe Pilates first came up with the idea for what we all know today as, well, Pilates, he constructed the initial machine from the steel bands that come on beer kegs. This “magic circle” was a common theme in all early Pilates classes.
- Pilates is very different from yoga. Many people tend to lump the two into the same category, but they are actually quite different. Pilates is a physical fitness system, not a variation of yoga. Joe Pilates, a physicist, created Pilates with the belief that both mental and physical health are important. While elements of yoga can be found within Pilates routines, they are not the same.
- Just one hour of Pilates will burn calories throughout the rest of the day. At its very center, Pilates is a form of resistance training, which has been scientifically proven to create lean muscle and boost metabolism. This means that by attending a one hour Pilates class, you will be burning off calories as you go about the rest of your day.
- Pilates works the entire body. Many Pilates instructors will begin the class by asking students to take a body scan. What this does is bring awareness to how they are feeling now, at the start of class, and compare it to how they feel after. Every single exercise that is done during a Pilates class uses every part of the body, providing students with a full body workout that will provide results.
- Pilates is all about quality over quantity. Once you attend your first Arlington Pilates class you will quickly understand what we mean by this. Pilates focuses on getting all aspects right – from the posture, the breathing, the movement, the number of repetitions, and how much energy is spent. When it comes to Pilates, it’s not about how quickly you can do a pose or exercise, but how well you do it.
Interested in seeing what all the fuss is about and trying out a Pilates class? Read more about our Arlington and Bedford Pilates class offerings here then head on over and check out our schedule.