Definition of Pilates


Pilates is an exercise system designed to strengthen, balance and uniformly develop the body and mind. Designed by Joseph Pilates to rehabilitate detainees during World War I, the Pilates method, which he evolved over the first half of the 20th century, teaches controlled movements from strong core muscles (abdomen and back), using a repertoire of exercises and equipment to train the body. Concentration is key to a Pilates practice, which is based on awareness, balance, breathing, focus, control and precise, flowing movements. Proponents of the Pilates method believe its focus on structural balance and core support can help alleviate and prevent back and body pain, increase flexibility and lead to a healthier body.

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This section is designed as a jumping-off point. We’ve “spotlighted” just a few medical studies on pilates to introduce you to the nature and diversity of the research. Consider it a springboard to the RESEARCH area.


The heart of the portal. Search the Natural Standard, Cochrane and PubMed databases – and the search engine TRIP – for clinical studies about pilates‘s impact on numerous health issues.


Investigate the clinical trials currently underway for pilates. Where they’re being conducted around the world – which health conditions are being studied – and how to get involved.