Pilates is a well-known and popular around the world exercise system. It was developed by Joseph Pilates more than a century ago and was revived today as one of the fitness trend “Body and Mind”. One of the best things about the Pilates is that it works so well for a wide range of people regardless of their age, sex and fitness level. The risk of injury here is very low.
How Does Pilates Look Like?
Pilates system is based around core strength. The core muscles are the deep muscles of the back, or spinal muscles. All moves are performed slowly and gently so muscles and ligaments are not overburdened. And you learn how to breathe at the same time.
What Muscles Are Trained in Pilates?
The Pilates exercises strengthen abdominal and back muscles, improve body posture, stability, flexibility and joints function. Besides, exercises develop core muscles in the abdomen and back that are not trained by aerobics and power exercises.
Pilates and Pregnancy
Pilates exercises are especially beneficial for women as they develop female core muscles of true pelvis. Pregnant women can also do this system without interruption to keep their bodies in shape.
Pilates: How to Begin
It’s recommended that beginners start with mat work. This kind of exercises was originally developed by Joseph Pilates. They include 500 various exercises based on the rotation of muscle stretching and load.
The major Pilates principles are the following: control, concentration, breath, centering, relaxation, flow and precision.
The foundation principle of Pilates system is the control over execution of all exercises and moves. These exercises should strengthen spinal muscles.
Concentration provides the balance between your body and spirit. Each move is under mental control and you focus on how your body performs an exercise.
Breathing is crucial for Pilates exercises. Breathing supports the balance in the body and improves control over moves. That’s why midriff breathing is trained.
It means strengthening the centre of the body, so called core muscles that lie from chest to hips. In this area, most important organs are located. Training these muscles strengthens the back and spinal column in the first place, easing back pain and preventing spinal disorders.
Flow is very important for all Pilates exercises. One move slowly flows into another without pauses and interruptions. But every move has its starting and finishing points. Each move is a part in the chain of moves. There are no fast moves, no isolation and long pauses.
Awareness is there to help balance your body. You have to relax those parts of the body that are not involved in an exercise.
And the last Pilates principle is regularity. If you want to succeed, you have to do Pilates exercises, at least, three times a week.
I decided to tell you about Pilates so detailed because about a few weeks ago I attended my first Pilates class and I liked it so much, I was so impressed. It’s relaxing, but at the same time you work out very thoroughly the zones most women would like to train, such as abs, side abs, hips etc. In Pilates, first you strengthen the muscles, then you stretch them, which reduces post-training myalgia.
After the Pilate class the feeling in the muscles you worked out is amazing – you literally feel them all! And, thus, you are sure you trained each of them, so you WILL look better. This is fantastic, as even after a few training days of Pilates you notice that your posture has become straighter. So, for those who have to sit down in front of the computer all day long, it’s great. The only minus – when you lay down on the mat to do some exercises you may start yawning 🙂 so after the class the only thing you want is to sleep, but it’s always a good sleep.
Briefly, I really recommend it.