Doing Pilates benefits physical and mental health in lots of ways. It has a strong mind-body element and a focus on breathing. These two aspects help with relaxation and mental health. The main physical Pilates benefits include:
- A strong core
- Flexibility in muscles and joints
- Correct posture
- Smooth, controlled movement patterns
- Healthy spine
- Improved balance
What is Pilates?
It’s an exercises system that Joseph Pilates developed around 100 years ago. Pilates based his system on various principles that he believed were important to well-being. These include having a strong core to support all body movement, correct posture and focusing on smooth, controlled movement.
What you need to get started
Pilates exercise machines aren’t essential. There are 34 original Pilates exercises which use no equipment. There are also many variations on these original exercises. All you need to get started is comfortable clothing and something to lie on. If you don’t have an exercise mat, then a folded blanket or quilt will be fine. Just make sure your spine has enough cushioning in order to be comfortable.
The Pilates circle
This is a cheap, lightweight piece of equipment that can make a useful addition to your Pilates workout. If you want to know more, then see the link to the Pilates circle challenge below.
Understanding neutral pelvis and core control
This is fundamental to Pilates and should therefore be your first step. Doing Pilates without correct pelvic alignment is counter-productive. See the link to the beginners core post below for instructions on this.
Start enjoying Pilates benefits
Try some of the workouts listed below to make a start with Pilates.
The Pilates circle is useful for home workouts, because it is cheap and easily stored. This challenge combines the shoulder bridge exercise with the circle. The workout will strengthen the core and inner thighs and also loosen up the spine.
A lot of beginners Pilates programs use adaptations that are suitable for beginners, but don’t actually work towards ever being able to do the full Pilates exercise. This post takes you in stages from beginner to doing a full Pilates roll up.
Contrary to popular belief, the plank hold isn’t an original Pilates exercise. The prone leg pull starts from a plank position, but it’s not a static hold. Long planks holds aren’t the best way to use your workout time. However, short plank holds make a good addition to core training.
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