Pilates is a routine which aids in promoting flexibility, muscle strength and endurance through body conditioning. The emphasis of a Pilates routine is on pelvic and spinal alignment, improved balance and coordination, a strong core, and breathing. Pilates is a program for which the intensity can be modified to adapt to body conditions of those ranging from beginners to advanced students.

There is a range of Pilates equipment available to be used, the most common being the Pilates mat, the stability ball, and resistance bands. There is also use of arc barrels, magic circle, Pilates chair, The Cadillac/trapeze, and the Reformer, to name a few.

The Pilates stability ball is used to increase stability and stimulate the use of more muscles than if you were to work out on the floor. It is ideal for building a strong core, as over time the muscles become stronger in order to keep balance. It concentrates on strengthening the abdominal and back muscles.

Resistance bands are used to improve coordination, balance, muscle strength, and flexibility, and to increase range of motion. They are used to make each exercise more challenging and make your workout more effective for your body.

The Pilates chairs are designed to help stretch and strengthen a number of muscle groups that are often not covered by traditional Pilates exercises and equipment. There are a large number of exercises that can be performed using the chair which all focus on stability, leg and core strength, as well as mobility.

The Cadillac can also be known as a trapeze. The Cadillac is a table with a set of cross bars to which you can attach other bars and straps in order to perform an assortment of exercises varying in intensity.

The Reformer is a hardwood frame with a cushioned seat that will have an adjustable foot place. It uses a pulley system to increase the variety of resistance exercises that can be done, which are beneficial in improving strength and flexibility.

Pilates has been known to promote long-term heart health, and improve balance, circulation, and coordination, as well as improve joint health, strength, and flexibility. It has been known to aid in recovery from injury while easing the pain associated with the injury. Pilates is also useful in treatment for individuals with back pain and degenerative disc issues. It will assist in improving posture, as well as decrease wear and tear on the spinal discs that can result in further degeneration.

Pilates is known to help with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease by improving coordination and control through stretching. It is important to note that you should consult a doctor and qualified instructor before starting a Pilates regimen to help with symptoms of any injury or disease to ensure that the exercises being done are right for your condition and will not cause more damage.

There is a wide range of Pilates videos available to use at home. The level of intensity on these videos will range from a beginner to advanced program.  These videos concentrate on using controlled movements and breathing to tone the body and mind, often using the stability ball or magic circle to assist.