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Mat Pilates is a way to stretch and strengthen your body, primarily the muscles of the core, which span from your hips to your shoulders. Joseph Pilates developed this exercise methodology in the early 1900s to help fellow internees in a German national camp in England and, later, World War I veterans injured in the war. Later, Pilates took his exercise system to the United States and opened a gym with his wife.

Mat Pilates borrows from disciplines such as dance, yoga and classic callisthenics. The standard Pilates system of exercise uses many different pieces of equipment, such as the reformer, Cadillac and barrel. But, the mat Pilates series of exercises are performed equipment-free, with the moves adapted to work with just your body and a floor mat for cushioning and support.

Benefits of Mat Pilates:

Mat Pilates focuses on the core, or the “powerhouse,” as Joseph Pilates called it. You’ve probably heard how essential the core is in maintaining the health of your body and deterring injury. For example, a strong core helps ward off back pain and makes daily chores more doable. A strong core is a must for athletes, from runners to football players, as it increases stamina and power. When your core is strong, it serves as the centre of power so your limbs don’t have to bear as much of the brunt of movement.

Studies also show that mat pilates can help people who already suffer from back pain.

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