Have you heard of a fitness workout that is thought to help your mental and your physical health at the same time? Pilates is an exercise routine that allows you to build flexibility and long lean muscles. This particular way of getting your body in great shape is favored by the female sex because the way the muscles are shaped during the workout. Males have been known to do it as well and while for the most part the workouts are the same, males often do more reps and at a more intense pace. It is also great for both sexes as a form of rehabilitation from injury similar to swimming.
Pilates was created by a man named Joseph Pilates, who was a physical-culturist born in Germany in 1883. In the mind of Mr. Pilates he was trying to help people of the first half of the 20th century who wanted to strengthen the human mind and body. This is because Pilates believed that both mental health and physical health are related and feed off each other. If you’re either mentally or physically unhealthy, one may not reach full health in the other factor of his or her life.
Pilates is great for getting long lean muscles, it also is a way to build strength and endurance in your legs, core, arms, hips, and back. By putting a lot of emphasis on your spine and pelvic alignment many people who practice Pilates see health benefits almost immediately. This also provides the person improved balance, flexibility, and coordination. Your Intensity levels may be increased over time as the body conditions and adapts to the exercises. No muscle group is under or over used to make sure that the muscles are very proportionate creating the long and lean look that is desired by many users of the exercise.
In today’s Pilates some props are used to get a better workout, these include but are not limited to, small weighted balls, foam rollers, large exercise balls, rotating disks, and resistance bands. These exercise are best known for being a morning workout however, they can be done at night as well.
The original six principles of Pilates
- Pilates demands intense total focus. One has to concentrate on what they are doing all the time. This will help you concentrate on your entire body for smooth movements during the workout. The way the exercise is done is more important than how fast and how many times you do the movement. This is why it is so important to concentrate while doing it.
- Joseph Pilates was very concerned with body control. He stressed that you need to be in control of every movement during the exercise. Control of your body and mind are key in this exercise. All exercises in Pilates are done with control with the muscles working to lift against gravity and the resistance of the springs and thereby control the movement of the body.
- Getting one’s body centered is easier said than done. In Pilates one must obtain the center of his or her core to do the workout correctly. The core is the center of the Pilates workout. Everything you do is using core strength to perform the exercise.
- The goal is to provide the person exercising with fluid movement to get long lean muscles definition. All of the Pilates technique asserts that physical energy exerted from the center should coordinate movements of the extremities. Everything is happening at once and everything flows together.
- Precision is key to a great Pilates workout. Everything in Pilates must be done exactly how it was intended to. Taking shortcuts or doing exercise wrong will not give the benefits that are intended. Even if the person working out is burning calories: if not done correctly overall benefits will be lost.
- This is key to stress relief and tying all of the other 5 principals together. By starting with nice deep breaths and continuing these same breaths throughout your workout, you will stay focused, free flowing and have the precision needed to get a great workout while doing Pilates.