Pilates is an excellent fitness workout for women because it seeks to build strength, coordination, flexibility and endurance without adding any muscle bulk. It it is a body conditioning method that helps increase the circulation which gets the blood flowing to every cell of your body. It also helps to sculpt the body as well as strengthen the body’s powerhouse or core.
Pilates is among the most popular exercise programs with about 5 million people who are regularly participating in various sessions and classes in the United States alone. Even more are doing Pilates tasks on their own, right at the comfort of their own homes during their free time.
What Is Pilates And Why Should You Be Doing It?
To begin with, Pilates is an exercise system that focuses strategically on improving the body’s strength, flexibility, and posture without building up any bulk. The method involves a series of highly controlled movements that are performed using specially and specifically designed spring-resistant apparatus.
People who faithfully do Pilates feel that they are less prone to injury, have better posture and experience better overall health. These exercises make a person aware of breath and the alignment of the spine. An emphasis is also placed on strengthening the deep torso muscles which are so important in helping to alleviate and prevent back pain.
Joseph H. Pilates who founded the Pilates method was born in Germany. He was especially frail as a child as he had asthma along with other childhood conditions. In order to grow stronger and to build up his body, he took up a variety of sports and even became an accomplished athlete.
He served as a nurse during the First World War in Great Britain. It was here that he designed exercise methods as well as equipment for soldiers and other immobilized patients.
Pilates also developed a series of exercises that used a mat which focused on the torso. These exercises were based upon different exercise methods from all over the world including the mind-body formats of Chinese martial arts and yoga.
Joseph Pilates believed that our mental and physical health are all intertwined. His exercise program was designed to establish coordination among the body, the mind, and even the spirit. These include concentration, control, flowing movements, precision and breathing. Joseph Pilates called this coordination ‘contrology.’
Pilates could also be performed on the floor (a method known as mat work) without the need to use any tool or equipment. The sessions should be supervised by no less than specially trained instructors.
How Does Pilates Differ From Other Forms of Exercise?
Pilates is a form of a resistance exercise and are two basic ways to exercise. You can either focus on mat exercises or you can use a variety of machines to strengthen and tone the body using the principle of resistance.
Pilates is not actually aerobic or cardiovascular although it will increase your heart rate. It is more like weight lifting than to biking, jogging, and many other forms of popular aerobic activities.
The two key elements are spinal alignment and core muscle strength. Pilates targets the core musculature, which is loosely defined as the abdomen, the spine, the pelvis, the hips, and all other muscles that support such structures.
During any Pilates session, the instructor will continuously prompt you to focus deeply into your core muscles. You have to also pay attention to your breath as well as to the quality of movements and appropriate contraction of the muscles.
The Pilates method does not build muscle mass. You can expect a Pilates session to help increase strength and flexibility, align the spine and lengthen the body. The fields of rehabilitation and fitness encourage Pilates for its focus on the lower back muscles as well as those of the abdomen.
There are classes and group sessions that are held regularly in gyms and fitness centers for people who aim to perform Pilates exercise routines.
Benefits Of Pilates Exercises
If you stick with Pilates faithfully, it will dramatically change the way your body feels, looks and performs. Pilates builds strength without having to worry about excess bulk. It will create a sleek, toned body that has a flat abdomen and slender thighs.
Pilates teaches good posture, body awareness and easy, graceful movements. It will improve your agility, flexibility and economy of motion. It can also help to relieve back pain. Professional dancers have been using Pilates for decades.
Many top athletes use it for flexibility, strength and injury prevention. Supermodels and Hollywood celebrities use it Pilates to maintain beautiful bodies.
Pilates will do the following for you:
• Build strength without bulking up
• Increase flexibility and agility
• Develop optimal core control
• Create flat abs, slender thighs as well as a strong back
• Refresh the mind and body
If you want to try this method of staying fit, start by joining classes and group sessions that are held regularly in gyms and fitness centers for people who aim to perform Pilates exercise routines.