For many people, Pilates for beginners can sound rather overwhelming. Fortunately, nothing can be farther from the truth. With all the benefits it offers, not to mention all its famous practitioners (Madonna, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Tiger Woods, and Sharon Stone to name a few), it’s no surprise it has gained quite a following.
If Pilates is something you are considering getting into, you have come to the right place. Let your journey to Pilates for beginners commence with the knowledge of what Pilates is all about and how you can benefit from the practice.
What is Pilates exactly?
Named after its creator, Joseph Pilates, this exercise method emphasizes the use of the hips and thighs, abdominals, and the lower back. Developed in the early 1900s, this technique is comprised of muscular strength and endurance, as well as low-impact flexibility movements.
A typical Pilates routine can often include at least 10 to 15 strength training exercises done repeatedly. Pilates also shares a similarity with calisthenics as it also has pushups and sit ups incorporated in the routine. That is the reason Pilates has been referred to by some people as the consummate form of calisthenics.
Pilates stabilizes, strengthens, and conditions the muscles of the body by employing movements that take advantage of body weight, gravity, and specially designed devices that create resistance.
Unknown to many, Pilates focuses mainly on the use of both the body and the mind to gain optimum performance. The body-mind connection is crucial in Pilates as it effectively trains the mind to sustain constant awareness of the body’s movements.
What are the many benefits of Pilates?
Postural alignment and core stability
A variety of pains and aches can surprisingly be traced back to poor posture. A study conducted revealed that at least 4 out of 5 adults often experience back pains at one point or another. If you find sitting up straight challenging, then you can definitely benefit from Pilates.
Since Pilates teaches you to deliberately hold optimum anatomical alignment while doing the movements and positions, the chances of injury is dramatically minimized.
Thorough body workout
Pilates has also been designed to use the muscles in synergy so that the body gets the ultimate workout in a functional way. And since it takes into account how the body has been designed for use, the movement sequences can prove advantageous when dealing with the physical challenges of day to day life.
If you are looking into effectively losing weight, it would be wise to make Pilates an integral part of your overall weight loss strategy. Pilates helps you lose weight by increasing your muscle tone. The best way to shed the excess pounds would be to combine your cardiovascular sessions with Pilates. Apart from strengthening your body, Pilates can also effectively prep it for more dynamic workouts that will help you burn calories.
Joseph Pilates once used his system to successfully rehabilitate injured soldiers. Nowadays, Pilates has also been used as an effective method of rebuilding function and strength following an injury. And because it is low impact, it is considered by many to be the ideal form of physical therapy.
Muscle strength and tone
You will find that Pilates is the ideal method to consider if you want to sculpt your muscles. To get the maximum results, consider participating in at least 3 (or more) sessions a week.
Also, if your “ripped” physique is hidden under a layer of adipose tissue (read: fat!) that just won’t go away, complementing your Pilates workouts with at least five 30-minute cardio sessions weekly should do the trick.
Pilates will not only teach you to breathe properly, it will also train you to focus on your movements. That would mean you get to stay in the moment and not focus on the voices in your head that tell you to pay the bills, find the perfect partner, or meet your deadlines. The ability to forget about things that are stressing you even just during the duration of the session can prove helpful as it would effectively recharge you and get you in the proper mind state.
Now that you know what you stand to gain by practicing Pilates, do yourself a favor and find the nearest Pilates studio near you so you can start enjoying all the benefits this phenomenal exercise method has to offer.