• It was created in the 1920s by the physical trainer Joseph
Pilates (1880-1967) for the purpose of rehabilitation. Some of
the first people treated by Pilates were soldiers returning from
war and dancers such as Martha Graham and George
Balanchine to strengthen their bodies and heal their aches and
pains. Since the 1920s, the basic tenets that Joseph Pilates set
down have been preserved, and to this day, even with some
modifications, the Pilates remains true to its origins.
• Pilates originally called his work Contrology. He considered
this to be a body/mind/spirit approach to movement founded
on the integrative effect of principles such as centering,
concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow.
Pilates and Principles..
• Two of the key elements of Pilates are core muscle
strength and spinal alignment. The core
musculature is loosely defined as the spine,
abdomen, pelvis, hips, and the muscles that
support these structures. Some of the main core
muscles are the erector spinae (located in your
back along your spine), the internal and external
obliques (the sides of your abdomen), the
transverse abdominis (located deep in your gut,
this muscle pulls your belly button in toward your
spine), the rectus abdominis (the "six-pack"), and
hip flexors (in your pelvis and upper leg). Pilates is
resistance, anaerobic exercise; however, the heart
rate will certainly rise.
• Pilates focuses on improving flexibility, strength,
Contrology and principles
Whether one is working out on a mat or using Pilates equipment, like
the reformer or Cadillac, these basic principles infuse each exercise
with intention and fullness of expression:
1. Centering: Physically bringing the focus to the center of the body also called he
powerhouse (core) area between the lower ribs and pubic bone.
2. Concentration: bringing full attention and commitment to the exercise.
3. Control: Every Pilates exercise is done with complete muscular control. No body
part is left to its own devices.
4. Breath: using a very full breath in his exercises. Most Pilates exercises coordinate
with the breath, and using the breath properly is an integral part of Pilates exercise.
5. Flow: Pilates exercise is done in a flowing manner. Fluidity, grace, and ease are
goals applied to all exercises. The energy of an exercise connects all body parts and
flows through the body in an even way.
6. Precision: In Pilates, awareness is sustained throughout each movement. There is an
appropriate placement, alignment relative to other body parts, and trajectory for each
part of the body
The Basic 10 mat exercises…
1. Warm-up
2. The hundred
3. The roll-up
4. The roll-over
5. One leg circle
6. Rolling like a ball
7. Single leg stretch
8. Double leg stretch
9. Spine stretch
10. Open leg Rocker
This is just an example of basic beginner moves. They can
be modified depending on your level of fitness.

Pilates study guide