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Pilates is a system of exercise put together over 70 years ago by a man named Joseph Herbertus Pilates. He originally named his exercise system Contrology and was based on the idea of using the body, mind and breath to gain optimal strength and flexibility in the body. It didn’t become known as Pilates until after his death in 1967.

Joseph originally came up with 35 exercises performed on the mat, many of todays mat/floorwork classes are based on these original exercises, although many have been modified-some for the better though not all.

Joseph also invented a range of Pilates Equipment to compliment and assist in the learning of the floor exercises. This equipment includes the Cadillac (also known as the Trapeze Table), the Reformer (which is the most versatile and popular piece), the Wunda Chair (arguably one of the first pieces of home exercise equipment), the Ladder Barrel and other small pieces.

All of this equipment is used to perform series of exercises designed to build strength, flexibility and ease of movement within the body. Each has exercises unique to it along with its own versions of similar movements with different focus.

Some of the benefits of Pilates include:
* Improved flexibility.
* Increased muscle strength, particularly of the abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks (the ‘core muscles’ of the body).
* Balanced muscular strength on both sides of the body.
* Enhanced muscular control of the back and limbs.
* Improved stabilisation of the spine.
* Greater awareness of posture.
* Improved physical coordination and balance.
* Relaxation of the shoulders, neck and upper back.
* Safe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries.
* Helps prevent musculoskeletal injuries.

Pilates caters for everyone, from the beginner to the advanced. You can perform exercises using your own body weight, or with the aid of equipment