The Winterville Center

Community and Culture in Winterville, Georgia

The Benefits of Pilates

If you are looking for a gentle workout that can increase your strength, stamina, and flexibility, consider Pilates! Pilates can be a great workout and is accessible for most ages and body types. 


History of Pilates

Pilates has a fascinating history. Joseph Pilates was from Mönchengladbach, Germany. the son of a father who was a gymnast and a mother who was a naturopath. Pilates was traveling with a circus in the UK when World War I broke out. He was interred at the Knockaloe internment camp on the Isle of Man. During his internment, Pilates started using the principles of physical exercise from Germany to strengthen his body in the internment camp.

Once Pilates got out of the internment camp, he refined his exercises into a series of 34 exercises. Some of these exercises are done on equipment he called apparatus, such as the Universal Reformer. Many of the apparatus are inspired by machines used in gymnastics or other fitness methods. Pilates believed that his exercises would keep people strong and help rehabilitate those who struggled with illness and poor health.

Development of Core Strength

Joseph Pilates believed that the stomach and back muscles formed the “powerhouse” muscles of the body. Many of his exercises are designed to strengthen the powerhouse muscles and develop core muscles. Pilates exercises may focus on a core muscle but also train other muscles at the same time. 

Improved Posture

With the strengthening of the core powerhouse muscles may come with an improvement in posture and an awareness of how those core muscles are used outside of Pilates movements. Many instructors highlight the importance of correct posture both in Pilates practice and in daily life. Breathing is also important in the practice of Pilates, and an awareness of correct posture can help awareness of proper breathing.

Increased Flexibility

Joseph Pilates felt that flexibility was important for the body, likely because of his circus background and his father’s gymnastics background. Some of the positions require gentle stretching movements. Since the movements are slow and practitioners are encouraged to breathe deeply, stretching movements may be deeper and more effective. 

Try a Pilates Class This Week

The Winterville Center offers Pilates twice a week. The Tuesday class is at 2:00 p.m. and the Thursday class is at 6:30 p.m. Instructor Nancy Burnham, a certified Power Pilates instructor is SilverSneakers™ qualified and those with SilverSneaker™ membership may attend for free. The class is $7.50 for those without SilverSneakers™ membership.



The Benefits of Pilates


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