Pilates (/pɪˈlɑːteɪz/; German: [piˈlaːtəs]) is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, and popular in many countries, including Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. As of 2005, there were 11 million people practicing the discipline regularly and 14,000 instructors in the United States alone.
Pilates is a body conditioning routine that may help build flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance in the legs, abdominals, arms, hips, and back. It puts emphasis on spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing, and developing a strong core or center, and improving coordination and balance. Pilates’ system allows for different exercises to be modified in range of difficulty from beginning to advanced. Intensity can be increased over time as the body conditions and adapts to the exercises.