Pilates is physical conditioning that focuses on connecting the mind and body and building a strong core foundation. It can improve mental and physical well-being, increase flexibility, and strengthen muscles through controlled movements done as mat exercises or with equipment to tone and strengthen the body.
There are a wide variety of Pilates Training Programs available with 2 main focuses: traditional training that adheres strictly to what Joseph Pilates taught (classical); or training that incorporates new techniques and developments in exercise science (contemporary). The Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) offers the only professional certification exam for the Pilates industry; after passing the exam, Pilates instructors are PMA certified. Most Pilates instructor training programs are excellent, requiring many hours of study, practice, and exams at a level that meets or exceeds the requirements for the PMA professional exam. However, Pilates training is not regulated, so PMA certified is the gold standard.