Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Pilates believed his method uses the mind to control the muscles. The Pilates method seeks to increase the strength, flexibility and control of the body.
Pilates was originally developed using mats, and has evolved to using various apparatus each with its own repertoire of exercises. Most of the exercises done on the various pieces of Pilates apparatus are resistance training since they make use of springs to provide additional resistance. Using springs results in "progressive resistance", meaning the resistance increases as the spring is stretched. The most widely used piece of apparatus, and probably the most important, is the Reformer, but other apparatus used in a traditional Pilates studio include the Cadillac (also called the Trapeze Table), the high (or electric) chair, the Wunda Chair, the baby Chair, and the Ladder Barrel, the Spine Corrector (Step Barrel) and small barrel. Lesser used apparatus includes the Magic Circle, Guillotine Tower, the Pedi-Pole, and the Foot Corrector.
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