Pilates is one of the best methods of exercise that focuses on improving muscle flexibility and making your body posture better. This method was discovered in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates and is also called “Contrology”. The exercises combine deep breathing with gentle stretching of legs, lower back, hips, abdominal muscles, and other core muscles. Pilates workouts such as Yoga Pilates are aimed at improving the strength of core muscles just like any other core exercises while helping in increasing body flexibility, stability, and better posture. You can also perform Pilates for back pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain.
A combination of more than one Pilates exercise makes up Pilates workouts. Usually, there are two types of Pilates workouts: Mat Pilates: As the name suggests, you only require a yoga mat to perform Pilates exercise. The exercise is done on the floor and involves core strength. In this one, you can also combine yoga and Pilates to get more effective Pilates workouts at home. Contemporary Pilates: In this type of Pilates workouts, you need to use specific equipment. Your Pilates trainer will also help you use strength training with weights like dumbbells to offer resistance to muscles. Other than these, Pilates workouts also come in the form of Classical Pilates, Clinical Pilates, and Group Reformer Pilates or Reform Pilates. Sometimes, Pilate workouts may also be done along with dance workout or other cardio exercises. Pilates for men and women are also available in accordance with their body needs and limitations.
You can effectively perform Pilates at home as you do not require special equipment in some of the exercises. For instance, if you are doing mat Pilates, you only need a mat and an open space to get freedom for body movements. You can watch online Pilates classes to learn the right techniques. Depending on your goals, online Pilates classes offer a suitable workout plan. You can also try Pilates for men or women depending on your gender.
Anyone who is in good health can do Pilates workouts. In fact, you can also find suitable Pilates for men and women as per their body needs. Just consult an expert or watch online Pilates classes to avoid mistakes while performing Pilates.
Below is a list of people who should not do Pilates workouts to avoid serious complications: Those with any kind of injury Those suffering from medical conditions related to heart Pregnant women Women in the postpartum first 3 to 6 months These people can perform Pilates once their health condition improves. Even after that, they should start with Pilates for beginners.
While every Pilate exercise works best, there are some that are included in all types of Pilates workouts. You can also perform these Pilates at home. The list is as follows: Straight Leg Criss Cross Plank Double Leg Stretch Pilates 100 Pendulum Back Extensions People also combine yoga and Pilates. It is known as yoga Pilates or Piloga. However, always seek guidance from a Pilates trainer to avoid serious injuries. In case you are performing Pilates at home, you can watch online Pilates classes by experts.
Here are some of the best Pilates for beginners. Include them in your Pilates workouts at home and get fit: 1. Straight Leg Criss Cross: This Pilates exercise is great for building strong core muscles. It works best for your lower abs, lower back muscles, and your rectus abdominus as well. Crisscross also challenges your abdominals to stay stable. This way your body also learns better stabilization. Those who wish to burn fat can also try criss-cross as it is one of the best Pilates for weight loss. How to do it: First, spread the yoga mat on the floor and lie on your back. Raise your legs straight up towards the ceiling Now, bring one ankle over the other and switch in the crisscross movement. It will be a diagonal movement. You can watch Pilates online to understand the motion. You can also bring variations by bending your knees to 90 degrees angle and then extending them one by one like a bicycle movement. Repeat for 10 sets. Sets: Do 3 sets of 10-20 reps. 2. Plank: Plank is another beneficial exercise for your abdominal muscles. It also engages almost all the core muscles like the abs, spine, shoulders, chest, and others. Just like straight leg criss cross, plank also strengthens the core. It can also help in reducing stress on the joints and enable better body posture. How to do it? Start with the plank position. Keep your face downward with your arms and toes on the floor. Keep your head relaxed but do engage the abdominal muscles. The torso should be straight and rigid such that the body is in a straight line. Hold this plank position for 10 seconds if you are a beginner. Now lie back and rest. Sets: Increase the duration of the plank from 30, 45, or 60 seconds. 3. Double Leg Stretch: Another basic Pilates for beginners, double leg stretches demands strength and endurance from your muscles. It is helpful in improving your body coordination, flexibility, and stability. This classic Pilates exercise also strengthens your lower and upper abs. Double leg stretch also releases a lot of energy and can be considered an exercise to reduce belly fat. How to do it? To perform a double leg stretch, lie on the floor, and breathe properly. Now, raise your head, neck, and shoulders. Alongside, raise both of your legs with knees bent at 90 degrees. Your shins should be parallel to the floor. Inhale and point your fingertips to the heels. While exhaling, stretch your hands so that fingertips go behind the head. Meanwhile, your legs should be raised at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Inhale and return to the start. This is 1 rep. Sets: Perform 10 reps as a beginner. 4. Pilates 100: Whether you are taking a Pilates class or doing it on your own by watching Pilates online, you will definitely find Pilates 100 as a basic yet crucial Pilates exercise. It is named after the 100 beats of your arms that happen when you hold your legs, head, and shoulders up from the mat. Pilates 100 tightens your abs and helps in weight loss. How to do it? Lie down on the floor. Now, lift your legs at the angle of 65 degrees from the floor. Your toes and heels should point together. Raise your head and shoulder off from the floor and crunch your upper abs. Try to make a V-sit variation if you can. Your hands should be in front of your hips. Oscillate your arms up and down. While doing this, inhale for 5 pumps and exhale as well. The speed of this oscillation can depend on your breath and can be fast or slow. Set: Repeat the oscillations for 10 complete breaths or 100 pulses. 5. Pendulum: In this Pilates exercise, you get the chance to strengthen your core muscles while getting more power on your body movements. The pendulum engages your abdominal muscles and supports the spine movement. Not just this, this exercise also works on your body postures, and helps you in developing a supporting back. How to do it? Lie on your mat with face up. Extend your arms to both the sides. Now, bend your knees over the hips. Keep both the knees together and let them fall towards right. While doing this, keep your lower back on the floor and do not move it. Then, return the knees to the previous position. Again, turn your knees down to the left side and return to the previous position. Repeat on both sides simultaneously. Set: Begin with 4 reps on each side. 6. Back Extensions: Your back muscles also get strengthened during a Pilates workout. Back extension is one such Pilates exercise that helps in boosting back muscle strength and flexibility. Back extensions are also good for your hips, butts, and shoulders. You can also do this Pilates for back pain and get lean muscle too. How to do it? Unlike other Pilates workouts exercises mentioned above, you have to lie on your stomach. Keep your arms on your sides. Your palms should be facing the ceiling. Now, lift your abs and feet off the floor while inhaling. Do not overarch your neck. When you exhale, squeeze your butt. This will protect your lower back. Keep your spine straight and hold for an inhale. Lower yourself when you exhale again. Repeat. Set: Try to perform 3 sets of around 3-5 reps.
Pilates workouts are planned in such a way that they focus on the overall body and provide various benefits. Some of them are as follows: Tone Your Muscles: Performing Pilates is connected with lean and tones muscles. It particularly affects your lower back, hips, buttocks, abdominal muscles, abs, and shoulders. Strengthen Core: Pilates workouts such as Pilates 100 are known for helping core muscles and improving their strength. The exercises require you to keep your body in alignment and that boosts core strength. Increases Flexibility: Pilates have been favorite workout sessions for dancers as they work wonders to improve flexibility. As per one research, people who perform Pilates workouts for at least 8 weeks show better flexibility. Alleviate Aches: Some studies also suggest that Pilates help in relieving chronic back pain, especially lower back pain. This happens as it adds support to your core. Regular exercise will also prevent future injuries by strengthening your muscles. Help in Weight Loss: Practicing Pilates is also beneficial in keeping the weight in check. Your calories get burned while doing the core strength exercises. So, if you want to lose inches in waist and get a toned body, Pilates for weight loss may work for you. Improve Body Posture: Maintaining good alignment and body stability is key to better performance of Pilates. This improves your body posture and fixes bad postures as well.
Everything has its pros and cons, including your Pilates workouts. Here are some of the disadvantages you should know: If you do not perform Pilates properly, it can lead to injury. Pilates workouts can also cause aches in the beginner. Though you can try Pilates for weight loss, it is not as effective as strength training. Pilates class can be expensive compared to other fitness courses.
Dos Always begin with a warm up before performing Pilates at home or gym. Engage your concentration while doing the poses. Be consistent with Pilates workouts to get better results. Always engage your core muscles because if you are not doing that, it is not Pilates. Follow the guidance of an expert, especially if you are doing Pilates for beginners at home. Don’ts Do not overdo Pilates as it can cause injury and pain. Do not rely on Pilates for weight loss but include other workouts such as strength training. Do not hold your breath while performing Pilates. Do not compare your progress with others as it will leave you frustrated.
What you require to perform Pilates workouts depend on the types of Pilates exercise such as yoga Pilates or reform Pilates. In case you are doing Yoga Pilates, you will need: A yoga mat A towel A water bottle Comfortable clothes In case you are performing reform Pilates, you will require equipment such as: A yoga mat A water bottle Comfortable clothes Resistance bands Weights Magic circles Pilate chairs Barrels Tower
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