Whether you're trying to get in shape or just improve your overall health, Pilates is a great type of exercise to get you there. This method trains the body as an integrated whole, focusing on core, lower body, and upper body strength as well as flexibility and posture.
Pilates is for everyone
With thousands of possible exercises and modifications, Pilates workouts can be tailored to individual needs. There are ways you can adapt the exercises, and there are specific considerations for men or women during pregnancy, people with current and past injuries. So literally, Pilates is for everyone.
In Pilates, moves often call for you to resist gravity and move in a controlled way. Even though the main focus of Pilates is on developing your core strength, it also plays a part in developing a full-body workout. This ensures that no specific muscle is overdeveloped or underdeveloped, giving you that perfect lean body.In Pilates, you work toward a safe stretch. While there may not be as many pretzel-like positions in Pilates, having a body that can stretch and bend.
Mind and body connection
Pilates helps to create mind and body relationship. The focus on mindful movement and breath enhances proprioception and heightens awareness of how your body moves. The method gives you the chance to distract from negative thoughts and it's able to influence some of your body's physical responses, thereby decreasing stress. If we look at Pilates principles, such as Concentration, Control, Centering, Flow, Precision & Breathing the body and mind connection plays a huge role. The mind-body connection is required to execute these principles successfully whilst practicing Pilates and as Joseph Pilates said his Method is as much as a mental workout as it is physical.
The benefits of a mind-body connection are too numerous to list here but just some of these include relaxation, increased body awareness and it enhances mental and emotional well-being.
Every workout can be different and this is the true beauty of Pilates. Adding equipment to your workouts can improve results and the dynamic of it. Choose between small props such as Pilates rings, balls, bands, weights or you can opt for reformer Pilates which uses a machine.
Pilates was founded by german trainer Joseph Pilates in 1920s. It is a fitness method of slow, intentional movements to build muscle, improve posture, and increase flexibility. It was originally used by J.Pilates to help dancers recovering from injuries. During the first half of the twentieth century, Joseph Pilates developed a system of exercises which were intended to strengthen the human mind and body. J.Pilates believed that mental and physical health were interrelated.
Pilates said that the inspiration for his method came to him during World War One, while he was being held at the Knockaloe internment camp on the Isle of Man. He developed his method there for four years, working on his fellow internees.
The are 34 classical Pilates exercises:
One Leg Circle
Rolling Back (rolling like a ball)
One Leg Stretch
Double Leg Stretch
Rocker with open legs
One leg kick
Double leg kick
Side kick kneeling
Today this method is widely used across the world. There are numerous ways and variations to do Pilates and every trainer adds his own touch to it. You can do Pilates on a mat or your floor, use Reformer machine to bring you deeper into postures or add small Pilates equipment to your routine.