Pilates has developed into one of the top utilized fitness methods worldwide. The popularity of this fitness regime has grown immensely due to the ease of being able to incorporate Pilates into one’s everyday lifestyle, as well as its guarantee of positive results.
Although an original art with numerous movements and techniques, Pilates can also be viewed as a fusion between Yoga, Dance and Gymnastics. The varieties of exercises that can be utilized during a class are numerous and the art strives to increase your relationship with your body and in turn improve both your overall strength and health.
Pilates can be practiced in the comforts of your own home with the use of a Pilate’s reference book; however it may be easier to locate a qualified instructor in your area if you battle to settle into a routine independently. Instructors are plentiful worldwide; however care should be taken as to the type of certification and experience your Pilates instructor may have. If your instructor’s sessions are performed without you’re positioning being checked, this should be a good sign that they may not be as experienced as you may have thought. Positioning, breathing and concentration are very important in attaining the correct results. Getting set up is just as easy; all you need is a mat and some comfortable clothes. Although not necessary, there are numerous Pilates clothing and equipment stores online, for those of you wanting to work out in a bit of style!
So what are these benefits of Pilates? Pilates will not only give you that firmer, smaller and more toned bottom you have been praying for, but your posture is also guaranteed to improve shortly after commencing classes. Your body will slowly change to become longer and leaner, your balance and flexibility will improve and you will enjoy the benefits of a flatter and more attractive looking stomach. If you suffer from back pain or have experienced any repetitive stress injuries, Pilates has also been known to assist in the recovery process through better body alignment and body awareness. The chances of injuring yourself also decrease after practicing Pilates over a period of time, due to your bodies renewed strength and flexibility.Joseph Pilates was the founder of the art. It was due to his clever approach of strengthening and rehabilitating himself and other prisoners of war that he developed a special technique that still forms an integral part in Pilates today. Joseph Pilates used the bed and springs in the camp for resistance and stability while performing exercises with the prisoners. Small movement alongside this stability means that muscles are isolated and one can train the muscles underneath to work much harder and not rely totally on outside muscles. It is very difficult to feel muscles in isolation and a lot of concentration is necessary. Sarah Rosenfield, an expert in her field explains this quite nicely when stating, “By stabilizing your shoulders for example, it means that when you reach for a tin off a top shelf in the kitchen, you don’t have to pull on your shoulder. You can hold your shoulder still and still reach, isolating different sets of muscles. By doing so, you are strengthening other muscles and taking pressure away from your shoulder itself”. This is a very important and consistently used approach in Pilates and is significantly useful when wanting to increase body strength and decrease injury or future muscle degeneration.
In a nut shell, Pilates is a technique that stretches and strengthens your muscles and increases your relationship with your body. Back pain is usually caused due to poor posture or weak muscles in your stomach area. Pilates teaches you to strengthen these muscles by sucking in your stomach and working various muscles while performing exercise routines. Strengthening these muscles aid in bettering your posture and in turn your back ache. With muscles strengthened, you will find that daily physical activities will also be improved and more easily accomplished. Your spine is another area of your body that you use daily and can deteriorate as you get older due to its shock-absorbing structures decreasing and leaving you more susceptible to injury. Pilates is one of the best techniques used to strengthen both your spines stability and strength. Various exercises in Pilates address both stability and strength of the spine, enabling you to build up your spine strength and prevent future injury. Clearly, Pilates is not dedicated solely to individuals with injuries, but it works with isolating muscles and core strength, enabling one to better deal with the stresses and strains found in most everyday routines and lifestyles.
Although following the Pilates core principles of: “control, flowing movement, centering, precision and stability” may seem daunting and a huge task on its own, it is most definitely worth it. Classes range from beginners, intermediate to advanced and exercise that may seem difficult to start with will end up feeling both natural and energizing. Plus – you benefit from fitting into those sexy bottom hugging clothes you have been dying to get your hands on this summer!