The Pilates Method is a unique system of resistance training, which uses springs and body weight to lengthen and strengthen the body. Joseph H. Pilates developed the Pilates Method around the time of the First World War. J.H Pilates designed a series of exercises on the mat, and on specialised equipment that allow you to exercise against resistance through the use of springs and pulleys. The Pilates exercise system contains over 500 exercises that condition the whole body, simultaneously improving strength and flexibility.

Modern studio Pilates is delivered by qualified Pilates instructors who are comprehensively trained in the detail of the exercises and equipment. Qualified Pilates instructors are also trained in exercise programming for a range of body types, postural dysfunctions, and injuries.

A Pilates program is a total body workout that features equal measures of strength building, flexibility, and mobility, and is tailored to suit each person or group. Pilates can be used to improve physical and mental function for people from all walks of life, from a sedentary office worker to a super fit athlete. Pilates has also been proven effective in the rehabilitation of many common injuries and pain syndromes.

The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.

~Joseph Pilates

What to expect in a Pilates class

Pilates is generally conducted in two formats, group style and individualised sessions. In group sessions all participants follow the same program, which is either held on mats or on specialised Pilates equipment.

Pilates Alliance Australasia (PAA) recommends that group classes have a maximum of 12 participants if conducted by a junior instructor and up to 20 participants if taught by a senior practitioner.

Individualised sessions are held in Pilates studios and use specialised Pilates equipment for resistance. These tailored sessions may be one to one or in a small group of up to 4 participants.

To gain the maximum benefit, Pilates should be undertaken at least two or three times per week. You may notice postural improvements after 10 sessions.

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The benefits of Pilates

  • Improves spinal stability and core strength
  • Reinforces strong, mobile joints
  • Increases muscle strength and tone
  • Improves breathing
  • Improves stamina
  • Improves posture
  • Improves flexibility and mobility
  • Improves co-ordination and balance
  • Conditions the whole body
  • Improves aerobic conditioning
  • Teaches control both physically and mentally
  • Promotes body awareness


* Content has been generously contributed by the Pilates Alliance Australasia