Pilates can be the perfect exercise for you if you do it carefully and regularly. The main goal of this kind of training is to build core strength. It helps improve your posture, body’s flexibility, and balance. Before you decide to hit the gym, it’s essential to inform yourself about what kind of benefits pilates offer.
Physical activity is a must if you are taking care of your health. No matter how old you are, it is never too late to start. You will feel the positive effects quickly, and they will be your motivation and encouragement not to give up easily. At first, it may be challenging to create an exercise habit, but then it all becomes a routine and an integral part of your daily life, without which the day is not the same.
If you are one of those people where the excuse “I do not have time” is the biggest obstacle to starting physical activity, then stop lying to yourself. You have time three times a week for 1 hour, we all have, you need a good organization of activities. The benefits and positive effects of exercise are far more significant than the excuses, but it takes time to realize that.
A good mood, positive thoughts, and a good feeling of lightness will make you more productive, and you will perform your daily tasks faster and more efficiently.
The definition of pilates
Pilates is the type of exercise that is consisted of movements that focus on muscular strength, endurance, and low-impact flexibility. It also focuses on improving the body’s postural alignment, muscle balance, and power of the body’s core.
Pilates got its name from its founder, Joseph Pilates. He invented the Pilates exercises in the 1920s.
In today’s time, pilates exercises are used for physical rehabilitation and warming up before sports events.
Is pilates safe for first-time practitioners?
It’s a myth that pilates can be dangerous for people that are not athletes or sports professionals. Even though these groups use pilates as a warm-up before a match or event, pilates beginners are safe to start doing pilates exercises with the right guidance.
Also, you don’t need any special equipment for starting with pilates. There is something called a Reformer – a pilates piece of equipment that resembles a bed frame with adjustable spring and sliding carriage. It might look intimidating, but don’t be scared.
You can practice pilates on the floor with almost no equipment.
How does pilates impact your body?
Like every other type of exercise, you should consult your doctor before deciding what kind of activity you want to practice if you haven’t exercised regularly if you’re pregnant. If you have a medical condition, pilates should be done under supervision and with medical guidance.
This kind of exercise is flexible, which means that be brought down to a level where you can use it as a gentle strength training or stability training, and it is modified for a more challenging type of exercise.
Pilates beginners should practice light training to avoid any unwanted outcomes. The intensity should be added in time, but always listen to your body and respond to the regime.
A lot of us today work sitting down all day, which means 8 hours of continuous sitting. It is one of the leading causes of weight gain, circulation problems, back pain, sleep problems, increased stress, and metabolic syndrome, which can seriously disrupt overall health. That’s where pilates can be a great solution to somebody with issues caused by sitting down all day.
As a precaution, always ask your pilates trainer before performing any movement.
Benefits from Doing Pilates
Pilates has many benefits. Here is a shortlist of some them:
Pilates largely avoids high impact, high power output, and heavy muscular and skeletal loading.
Strengthens and tones the muscles, without forming unnecessary muscle mass;
Raises awareness of your body;
Strengthens the spine and makes it more flexible;
Relieves back pain;
You gain more control over your breathing;
Reduces stress, tension and gives you energy;
Teaches you how to coordinate the body, mind, and spirit;
Improves your appearance and increases your self-confidence.
How to choose the right pilates instructor
If you’re not sure where to look for a pilates instructor, try going to the PMA’s (The Pilates Method Alliance) website. All certified pilates instructors are registered on their website. You can look for one in your area.
Here are some questions to ask your Pilates instructor before hiring them:
Does the pilates instructor know how to adjust the exercises for people with special needs?
Does the instructor have a certificate for undergoing a comprehensive Pilates training program?
How many years of experience does the pilates instructor have?
How does Pilates fit into the fitness training world?
Health professionals recommend that adults with no medical condition practice aerobics and strength training. Here are some specific timing and types of exercises to follow:
An hour and 50 minutes of light aerobic exercising a week.
Another option is 75 minutes of intense aerobic exercise a week.
Combination of both light and intense exercises during the week.
Two times a week of strength training exercises for major muscle groups.
Training experts see pilates as a good exercise for building body strength not so much as an aerobic exercise. It’s advised to be used in a combination of both, with aerobic exercises included such as swimming, biking, running, hiking, etc.
Pilates Beginner Exercises – Basic moves and exercises
This exercise is created to position the neutral spine by pressing the lower back into the floor (creating a flat back) and then releasing the spine into a small arch. There is a place between these two points where 3 curves of the spine are in their natural position. This will be the starting position from which the rest of the exercises should be practiced.
Lie on your back with your arms at your sides. Your knees are bent, your legs and feet are parallel to each other, about the distance around your hips.
Use your abdominal muscles to press the lower part of the spine into the floor.
Inhale for release.
Exhale and pull the lower backbone, creating a small arch on the lower back.
Inhale for release.
You can practice the Head Nod standing or laying down, but it is best to practice lying down, as you would at the beginning of a Pilates session.
Start: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
Your legs should be parallel to your hips, knees, and feet in a line. Your hands rest on your sides, palms down. Your spine is in a neutral position – all 3 natural curves are present.
Make sure your face is flat on the ceiling so that you do not start falling up or down.
Mentally scan your body, leaving unnecessary tension. Take a few deep breaths in this position.
The pelvic clock is a very subtle exercise. The pelvis moves only one inch in each direction. While this may not sound interesting, smaller movements like these provide a basis for understanding how to position the pelvis and engage the pelvis effectively. This exercise will also help to detect a muscular imbalance in the back and abdomen.
The pelvic clock is designed to slow down and bring the focus inside.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Your legs will be parallel: your ankles, knees, and hips are in line.
Make sure your feet are set up-toes pointing straight at you. You will be in a neutral position on the hips, allowing a natural curve of the lumbar spine (lower back). Relax your neck and shoulders, resting your shoulders from your ears. Open chest, ribs dropped. Your head may be on a small pillow or your neck may be supported by your neck.
Hand position: Turn your hands together to touch your toes and touch your thumbs. Leave the flat shape down on your lower abdomen so that the tips of your fingers are easily on top of your bone and your palms are close to your navel. This will help you feel the movement of the pelvis.
Knee Folds Exercise
The ability to move the leg at the hips without affecting the stability of the pelvis is one of the most important goals of the knees. This activity is important in all kinds of movements that we do in everyday life, such as sitting, walking, and lifting.
From the starting position, by inhaling, feel that you are using your abdominal muscles to lift one leg off the floor. Leave a deep twist on the hip.
Heal and return your foot to the floor. As you do this, be sure to use abdominal control. Do not let the thigh take over.