Pilates (pronounced pɨˈlɑːtiːz) is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates in Germany. As of 2009, there are 13 million people who practice the discipline regularly and 15,000 instructors in the United States.
Pilates called his method Contrology (from control and Greek -λογία, -logia), because he believed his method uses the mind to control the muscles. The program focuses on the core postural muscles which help keep the body balanced and which are essential to providing support for the spine. In particular, Pilates exercises teach awareness of breath and alignment of the spine, and aim to strengthen the deep torso muscles