Pilates is a full body workout that focuses on the use of the core to create movement. It can be a challenging muscle and strength builder or a gentle rehab for injuries. Pilates works for all ages, bodies, and genders. It's something you can do throughout your life. The workouts can target body imbalances, push athletes, or just leave participants with an overall fit and healthy body. Pilates is more about what isn't moving than what is. Visitors looking in might get the impression that not much is going on. But when they try it for themselves, they soon realize how much effort is being expended.
During World War I, Joseph Pilates started his work by pulling springs from hospital beds to help his patients stay strong while healing. From there he developed the Reformer, Cadillac/Tower, and the Chair. Pilates Mat was developed later as a way to bring Pilates to larger groups at an economically. There is no prescribed order in which to use the different pieces of equipment. The workouts target your needs. It is not uncommon for a participant to use several pieces of equipment during one session.
Group Mat class is an all levels class. Beginners can easily follow, while the more experienced can challenge themselves further. Semi-private Reformer classes allow for more personal focus. At this point the instructor knows the bodies in class and can challenge or accommodate accordingly.
Private sessions are all about the participants individual needs and goals. This is where the workout specifically targets your strengths and brings your imbalances and weaknesses in line with the rest of your body.
Pilates is the one workout that can improve almost all areas of your fitness needs, whether it be running, cycling, hiking, lifting, dancing or walking. With the attention to core and form, it does all this while minimizing risk of injuries.