is a physical fitness system developed in
the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates in
Germany, the UK and the USA. As of 2005, there
were 11 million people who practice the discipline
regularly and 14,000 instructors in the United
Pilates called his method Contrology because
he believed his method uses the mind to control
The Pilates method seeks to develop controlled
movement from a strong core and it does this
using a range of apparatuses to guide and
train the body.
Each piece of apparatus has its own repertoire
of exercises and most of the exercises done
on the various pieces of Pilates apparatus
are resistance training since they make use
of springs to provide additional resistance.
Using springs results in "progressive
resistance", meaning the resistance increases
as the spring is stretched.
The most widely used piece of apparatus, and
probably the most important, is the Reformer,
but other apparatus used in a traditional
Pilates studio include the Cadillac (also
called the Trapeze Table), the high (or electric)
chair, the Wunda Chair, the baby Chair, and
the Ladder Barrel, the Spine Corrector (Step
Barrel) and small barrel. Lesser used apparatus
includes the Magic Circle, Guillotine Tower,
the Pedi-Pole, and the Foot Corrector.
In contemporary Pilates other props are used,
including small weighted balls, foam rollers,
large exercise balls, rotating disks, and
resistance bands. Some of the traditional
apparatuses have been adapted for use in contemporary
pilates (e.g. splitting the pedal on the wunda
chair). Some contemporary schools, such as
the British Body Control Pilates, work primarily
on the mat with these smaller props, enabling
people to study the method without a full
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