A Beginner’s Guide to Pilates
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a low-impact exercise that involves strengthening the core muscles, boosting flexibility, and improving the mobility of muscle joints. It is practiced around the world and was originally founded by Joseph Pilates.
It is an aerobic activity designed to connect the mind and body as one to develop the functioning of the body from the spine to the core. There is no cardio involved, instead, it consists of small but controlled movements to promote a better posture, align the muscles, and tone the body.
Where do I start?
If you are new to this method of exercise, it may be worth looking into ‘pilates for beginners’ classes. It’s not easy to learn on your own and you may find yourself more motivated in a well-equipped gym with other people and of course a professional fitness instructor to guide you through the process.
However, there are different types of pilates classes that you can choose from. It is important to understand the concepts of each class to determine which one would best suit you and your fitness level:
- Classical Pilates
Classic Pilates is typically referred to as the traditional training method based purely on the original techniques suggested by Joseph Pilates. It features the exact equipment recommended by the founder such as “the pilates reformer” which looks like a bed with springs but works to activate your abs, lower back, hips, and glutes.
- Contemporary Pilates
This pilates class incorporates not only the traditional pilates exercises but also integrates other practices such as yoga, physiotherapy, and fitness training. You will typically use modern equipment from resistance bands to foam rollers and exercise balls.
- Group Reformer Pilates
Rather than focusing on specific parts of the body, group reformer pilates works your whole body. This is where the Pilates Reformer machine comes back into play. You will be taken through a structured exercise routine throughout the class aimed to increase your physical strength, flexibility, and overall balance.
- Mat Pilates
Mat Pilates is what it says on the tin. It is completely floor-work based and targets the areas of your lower body. Of course, other than using a mat you will also be using equipment such as resistance bands and foam rollers. However, it mainly focuses on using your own body weight to perform the exercises.
What are the benefits of Pilates?
This exercise provides multiple benefits to both the mental and physical wellbeing of a person. Let’s take a look at the benefits of practicing pilates:
- Improves your posture
- Focuses on your core strength and flattens your tummy
- Reduces back pain
- Improves your flexibility
- Tones the muscles and makes you look slimmer
- Adaptable to different fitness levels
- Increases your energy levels
- Increases your awareness of the body and mind
- You can learn and practice pilates as you see fit
Based on this article, it can be summarised that Pilates is a worthwhile investment for those that are looking to reach new limits in their physical fitness. If you’re not a fan of yoga, pilates is a great alternative as it eases you into improving your flexibility levels with smaller, more controlled movements.
You can start with a beginner’s class or simply follow online tutorials. Pilates can be learned and practiced anywhere, whether it’s in your living room, your local park, or with like-minded people in the studio of a gym.
Author: Ryan Stinson
As an experienced copywriter for the content writing company, Technical Writers, Ryan possesses an A* A level in English Literature. After taking a gap year, before acquiring a full-time career in content creation, Ryan also worked as a personal trainer for his local gym where he developed his wealth of knowledge in the health and fitness industry.