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.
Pilates: What It Is, How It Works, and More
Everything you need to know about a Pilates workout.
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Best Osteoporosis Exercises: Weight-Bearing, Flexibility, and More
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Is Pilates Better Than Yoga?
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The Skinny Jeans Workout
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Flat Abs, the Pilates Way
Do you dream about flat abs? This Pilates-inspired technique puts them in reach.
Pilates and Yoga: Are They Good Exercise?
How downward dog and tai chi in the park can help mind and body alike.
Slideshows & Images
Slideshow: 15 Pilates Moves That Get Results
Flat abs are one highly prized result of a Pilates workout. Our pictures show beginning moves to help trim your belly and build long, lean muscles.
Slideshow: 9 Tips for Flat Abs
Want flat abs? See how to get them, including step-by-step instructions for performing the best abdominal exercises.