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Pilates is a system of strengthening and stretching exercises designed to develop the body's core (abdominals, low back, hips, and gluteals) and ultimately lead to better posture and balance. Named for Joseph Pilates, who developed the system in Germany in the late 19th Century, calling it "contrology," the discipline works the entire body in a fluid series of motions to create a synergy of movement. It is used in rehabilitation settings, as well as exercise studios. Pilates apparatus can be elaborate or portable and includes weighted and exercise balls, resistance bands, and the Reformer and the Barrel. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage of Pilates, how the exercises work, what they accomplish, and much more.

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