The six biggest things you don’t know about Pilates

Filed under: Pilates Features — Wayne on October 10, 2013

Pilates is one of the most popular forms of exercise around at the moment. Practiced by Hollywood celebrities, athletes and pregnant mums alike, it is the perfect exercise for toning and relaxation. When most of us think about Pilates, we think of little more than stretching and toning the body in a calming environment, but Pilates classes have so much more to offer than that and there are so many things the majority of us do not know about Pilates. With that in mind, we have put together a list of the best things you probably don’t know about Pilates.

Developed for soldiers

Although you are more likely to see a yummy mummy or a pampered celebrity perform Pilates today, the exercise was originally invented to help rehabilitate injured soldiers who were bed ridden in England. Joseph Pilates, moved by their plight, invented a Pilates machine which could be used in bed.

Originally called Contrology

Known all over the world as Pilates, the exercise method created by Joseph Pilates was originally given the name ‘Controlology’. It was given this name because Pilates believed that his exercises were all about maintaining control of the body, with movements which focused on the body’s core muscles to promote correct posture and alignment.

Cowboys love Pilates

Despite its reputation as an exercise for women, Pilates is actually performed extensively by men, in a range of disciplines. However, it is most notably practiced by rodeo cowboys, who use Pilates classes to help them develop lean muscle and a strong level of balance, which is vital to maintain their position when riding bulls and horses.

A huge calorie burner

Most people look at people performing Pilates and think that they are doing little more than gentle stretching, but they are dead wrong. Pilates exercises can be very intense. Anyone who takes a Pilates class will find that their body continues to burn calories for many hours after they leave the mat – unlike people who do a similar amount of cardio, where the body stops burning calories almost immediately after they stop. This means Pilates is great for weight loss, as well as toning up the body and building lean muscle mass.

Full-body workout

Pilates classes offer a full-body workout, which is perhaps why dedicated Pilates fans are often so fit. Pretty much every Pilates move works multiple muscles, which means that the typical Pilates routine works every muscle in the body and provides an intense and fulfilling workout, promoting good health and a sense of well-being.


Pilates does not only train the muscles; it can also be used to train the strength of our breathing so that we can go through exercises and strenuous, day-to-day activities more easily.

As you can see, a Pilates routine is made up of an interesting and complex system of exercises, which can improve physical fitness, tone the body and build lean muscle, which is more functional than bulky muscle. Pilates is also extremely relaxing and all encompassing.

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Charlotte Hopkinson