Pilates is a total body conditioning routine that helps build flexibility, endurance and strength, while toning the muscle. It puts emphasis on spinal and pelvic alignment and breathing to relieve stress.
Pilates' flexible system allows for different exercises to be modified in a range of difficulty from beginning to advanced. Intensity can be increased over time as the body conditions and adapts to the exercises. No muscle group is under or over trained.
Pilates "mat" workouts and Pilates "reformer" workouts provide similar benefits. In mat Pilates, your own body weight creates resistance, where as in reformer Pilates, pulleys and springs create resistance.
Working against resistance is essential to the 500 classical Pilates exercises, which are designed to train the body’s “powerhouse” — the abdomen, lower back, hips and buttocks.