Do you want to feel stronger and more confident with your body? Pilates could be the perfect addition to your workout routine.
Pilates is a total body workout for flexibility and strength training. Not only does it works your core and lower body, but it also works on your arms and upper body. This method strengthens and tones the muscles using specific exercise sequences which help you to feel strong, centered, and energized.
There are many good reasons to add Pilates to your workouts, including increased strength, and improved posture.
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a method of exercise designed to improve daily activities and livelihood. These exercises are designed to align the whole body's structure and support its joints. The goal is not just to develop core strength, but to use that core strength to develop functional and sustainable movement patterns throughout the body.
It can be deceptively challenging, but it's incredibly effective when done correctly with good form.
Tips and techniques for doing Pilates
It’s important to stretch before and after. Stretching can help you avoid soreness after a workout, and it prepares your muscles for exercise. If you don’t stretch, you could injure yourself during the exercise or after.
To ensure the best results from these exercises, make sure to use correct form by engaging each muscle that you are targeting.
To avoid neck strain, tuck your chin towards your chest when doing moves that focus on the abdominal muscles. This will round your upper spine and relieve tension in the neck.
When performing Pilates exercises, don't allow your body to sway uncontrollably. Work against momentum by keeping your body movements slow and precise.
It's important to be cautious about the injuries you might get when you're just starting out. Because you may not know your limits, or how to properly warm up and cool down, it is possible that overdoing a class can lead to injury.
Learning takes time. If you commit to a schedule of classes, your flexibility and strength will develop. Although it may take you a few months to feel comfortable in sessions, the benefits are worth the wait.
How to do Pilates the right way
One of the most common mistakes people make when doing these exercises is creating unnecessary tension throughout their bodies, particularly in their shoulders and necks.
You should avoid this by scooping your belly button towards your spine, engaging your abdominal muscles, and letting your core do the work to pull you up.
Here are some basic Pilates that you can begin with:
There are five basic moves — breathing exercises and stretches that target the back, hips, and core while also improving stability — that most beginner classes include.
The Hundred: This is a breathing exercise that also targets core strength and stability.
The Roll-Up: This move works on stretching the spine and the back of the body while strengthening the abdominals. It's slow and precise; good for those who need more control over their movements or have lower back issues.
Leg Circles: These moves target hips and core stabilizers, helping you develop strength in those areas.
Rolling Like A Ball: This exercise massages your spine and opens up your back muscles, making them more flexible.
Series of 5 : This move strengthens the abdominals and lower back muscles.
Benefits of Pilates
#1 Improves Posture
Improved posture is the key to good health, balancing your muscles and relieving stress. Pilates works to improve posture by strengthening neglected postural muscles and bringing awareness to your alignment.
It's important to have good balance at any age because it improves your coordination and ability to do everyday things — like walking — and activities that involve fast movement, like running. These exercises work on both of these areas.
#3 Core Muscles
It is great for building core strength and power. All the muscles in your trunk support you when you’re standing or moving. Pilates gives you a great way to target them all.
#4 Energy Levels
It increases energy levels through focussed breath. This increases cardiorespiratory capacity to encourage the release of feel-good hormones, oxygen flow, and blood circulation.
#5 Mood Booster
It's a mind-body exercise and offers many benefits. It relieves stress, builds strength and stamina, increases flexibility, and tones muscles.
#6 Weight Loss
It can be part of an overall plan to lose weight. Because it focuses on toning, you can gain muscle and look more slender. But it’s not an effective stand-alone weight-loss method. To lose weight, you need to work out regularly and get enough sleep, decrease stress levels, and create a caloric deficit.
So, why should you consider incorporating Pilates into your life? Quite simply, because it works. It can help you build muscle, burn fat, and improve your flexibility and core strength.
And if you’re a fitness professional looking to cross-train or diversify your workout routine, these exercises are an ideal choice. All of these benefits make Pilates a terrific option for everyone!
Q. Pilates or Yoga?