Pilates is a good choice if you’re looking for a workout that you can easily get into regardless of your fitness background. It’s a low-impact exercise that can strengthen your muscles and enhance your flexibility and postural alignment. The exercises often target the core, but the positions can also work on other areas of your body.
As you look up resources on Pilates, you are likely to find images where people are using equipment to exercise. However, it’s also possible to do Pilates without any special equipment. That said, there are two kinds of classes: reformer and mat. The latter involves a mat, which is thicker than the regular yoga mat to cushion your pressure points. The former involves a sliding platform with a stationary foot bar, pulleys for resistance, and springs.
Pilates vs Yoga
How is Pilates different from yoga? One of their major differences is Pilates is focused on relaxing and strengthening tense muscles. Yoga can be done to improve the flexibility of your joints and body. Moreover, Pilates is more intense, so you may notice the results such as a firmer & flatter stomach, especially with frequent practice.
Regardless of how you do Pilates, its moves will involve precise and slow movements. It’s a full body exercise, focusing on breath control to help you achieve a stronger, more stable core, which is known as your body’s foundation. That way, you can improve your posture, move more efficiently, become more flexible, and increase your agility. If you don’t want to bulk up while building your strength, this may also be the workout for you.
A Pilates workout is often good for at least 45 minutes to an hour, providing you with a full body workout. It promotes balanced muscle development, strength, increased range of motion, and flexibility, which also makes it popular for rehabilitation, as well as for athletes looking to improve their performance. With help from a fitness trainer, Pilates can be adapted to any fitness need or level. So, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a trained athlete or new to exercise, as there are thousands of modifications and possible exercises meant for your individual needs.
Some exercises to get you started:
You can start doing Pilates without any equipment, with an audio personal trainer guiding you throughout your workout. Try these for starters:
- Press and point
- Toe Taps
- Knees Off
- Side Plank Twist
- Inner thigh circle