'If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old. If it is completely flexible at 60, you are young' Joseph Pilates.
Pilates is one of the fastest-growing exercise systems in the world. It is for everyone, whatever shape, size or level of fitness.
Pilates works to strengthen the core, to rebalance and elongate the muscles throughout the body. It impoves posture and mobility, including flexibilty of the spine.
Many people argue that they don't have time to fit pilates in to their already busy exercise shedule. They are too busy hammering out the miles running or cycling. They may prefer team raquet sports or spend hours playing golf.
I see pilates as an insurance policy. It essentially allows you to keep performing at your optimal level in the sports you are passionate about. If you are a runner, pilates will help those tight hamstrings, it will rebalance your muscles and strengthen your core so you are a better, more efficient runner, less prone to injury.
If you are sat at a desk all day, you will most likely have an imbalance between your stronger posterial (back) muscles and your weaker core muscles. Pilates will help address these imbalances. This is why it is so helpful to those with long term back issues.
If you play squash, golf or hockey then you are very likely to have muscular imbalances due to the one sided nature of these sports. Many famous sportsmen and women now see pilates as an essential part of their training schedule. These include Tiger Woods, Andy Murray, The New Zealand All Blacks, Andrew Flintoff, Serena and Venus Williams, Roger Federer and Ryan Giggs to name but a few.