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  • Writer's pictureElle

Pilates: What’s all the fuss about?

Behind the smokescreen of Insta-famous Pilates influencers, is a revered practice of movement that promises a wealth of mental and physical benefits when executed correctly.

Pilates was invented by a man called Joseph Pilates, who originally called it Controlology, and his story is as interesting as it is inspiring.


To give you a snippet of it, Pilates suffered many ailments as a young man, including asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever. His method for overcoming these ailments, as he surely did, was physical activity. He dove into gymnastics, bodybuilding, martial arts, diving, skiing, and yoga to name just a few.

He eventually developed the group of foundational exercises that form the building blocks of what we now know as the practice of Pilates while growing up in Germany during World War I. He was an intern at a British camp with other German nationals, and it was there that he started to train his fellow inmates, before he eventually began to develop his own method of movement that we now know as Pilates.


To use his exact words, “Controlology is an ideal system to transform the body into a perfect instrument of the will. It is kinesiologically proper, physiologically sound, psychologically correct”.

Pilates says it elicits “astonishing results” for it develops “not only the muscles of the body, suppleness of the limbs, and functioning of vital organs and endocrine glands; it also clarifies the mind and develops the will.”

Some of the many benefits you will experience as a result of continued Pilates practice include:

  • Overall strength Particularly the core, which includes the abdominals, obliques, and lower back.

  • Flexibility Pilates promotes a full range of motion and flexibility in the body. Regular practice can help improve overall flexibility and reduce muscle stiffness.

  • Proper posture Awareness of body alignment and proper posture through controlled movements.

  • Muscle tone Pilates exercises engage various muscle groups, leading to improved muscle tone and definition.

  • Improved balance and coordination Pilates movements require concentration and precision, which can lead to better balance and coordination.

  • Stress reduction The mindful nature of Pilates, which focuses on breathing and concentration, can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.

  • Enhanced breathing and lung capacity Pilates emphasises deep, controlled breathing techniques that improve lung capacity and oxygen circulation in the body.

  • Injury prevention and rehabilitation Pilates can aid in recovery from injuries, such as back pain, and help prevent future injuries by strengthening supporting muscles.

  • Better body awareness Pilates encourages a strong mind-body connection, which can lead to better self-awareness and improved body mechanics.

  • Increased energy and stamina Regular practice of Pilates can boost energy levels and overall stamina, making everyday activities easier and more enjoyable.

  • Mind-body connection Pilates promotes mindfulness, helping individuals to develop a better understanding of their bodies and reduce stress.


Since its origins, the practice of Pilates has broadened and evolved as science has taught us more about the body, and this evidence has been applied to the practice to advance it and ensure its relevance.

Although there are now many schools of thought in the Pilates arena worldwide, with various styles and adaptations on offer, the core principles of Joseph Pilates' method remain at its foundation.

Pilates with Elle classes build on the traditional exercises with creative layers and sequences of movement to deliver a dynamic, flowing, and feel-good Pilates experience.

So what are you waiting for? Give it a go.


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