Pilates is a physical conditioning regimen developed early in the 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Originally called Contrology, it is generally used in western nations, with about 11,000,000 practitioners. As first designed, Pilates emphasized the controlled movements of the body, for increasing flexibility, strength, endurance, and control. Special emphasis includes strengthening the body’s “core”, the muscles of the lower back, abdomen, and hips. There are many variations of Pilates, each emphasizing particular exercises or techniques.