There are many forms and types of exercising practiced, but Pilates is without a doubt among the most popular in recent years. This system of physical fitness was invented in Germany in the 20th century by Joseph Pilates who, as a boy, suffered from multiple afflictions such as asthma and rheumatic fever which left his body and health weakened. As he grew, he got very interested in sports, exercising and a healthy way of living, which eventually led him to create Pilates. Subsequently, this form of fitness became increasingly popular, especially in Joseph’s natal country, Germany, and in the UK and the United States.

Today, Pilates is perhaps the most popular of all physical fitness forms among both women and men, perhaps due to the fact that, with the help of tutorials, it can be practiced at home as well, individually. However, there are also gym places where you can go and where, with the help of a professional instructor, you can learn the basics of Pilates and gradually work your way towards heavier exercises within it. This work-out routine is based on body conditioning and its objective is to increase flexibility, endurance in all the part of the body and muscle strength.

What’s interesting about Pilates is that it doesn’t only help people become slimmer, fitter and more flexible, but it also improves their posture, it helps with back problems and develops their core strength, which is very important. Coordination, balance and reflexes are also enhanced. Pilates consists of a series of exercises and movements, executed from different positions of the body which can be modified to fit a beginner or someone with experience in this type of work-out.

As this phenomenon grew, Pilates’ practitioners developed into various schools and methods, so that there are now two main types of exercising. The initial development of Pilates by Joseph implied the execution of an invariable set of exercises which were always done in the same order. More modern approaches of this fitness form broke down the exercises into several sets that could be interchanged, repeated and so on. With all its popularity, it’s no wonder there were also those who wished to theorize Pilates and there are even books about the principles that stand behind understanding and practicing this. They were six in number originally: concentration, control, centering, efficiency of movement, precision and breathing. Pilates can also be practiced during pregnancy, but through a milder form and always with the help of a trained expert.