What is Pilates?
Then answer to this question is usually termed as ‘some exercise based on yoga, catering to women’. Nothing can be further from the truth as Pilates was invented by a man named Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, and has almost 14 million people practising this discipline in the United States alone. When it first started, it was only taught to a select few people until they opened their own studios.
Now it has become one of the most popular forms of exercise, thanks to the simple fact that almost anyone can attempt a Pilates exercise program.
Whether you are young or old, have just delivered a baby, an endurance athlete or even recuperating physically for whatever reason, Pilates might be just the thing that the doctor ordered.
Unlike certain types of workouts that either increase your flexibility or just build strength, Pilates focuses on both while ensuring that, through its exercise routine, you can do so with ease and grace. But let us revisit this question again: So, what is Pilates then?
It is defined as a series of controlled movements that are performed either on the floor or a specially designed spring-resistant exercise apparatus – namely the Cadillac, ‘Wunda’ Chair, Ladder Barrel, Spine Corrector or the Reformer.
Pilates is not aerobics but a resistance exercise that focuses on core muscle strength and spine alignment. When you develop core muscle strength, not only will you relieve the pressure on your back (which is why it is a popular exercise amongst patients struggling from back pain) but as mentioned earlier, increase flexibility.
Joseph Pilates also emphasized that Pilates, as an exercise discipline, is all about the mind-body connection which is a paradigm that you will find in other exercise routines such as parkour, Tai Chi and yoga.
So, what you can expect from trying Pilates is a toning of the body, mind and spirit, thanks to this discipline being strongly influenced by ancient martial arts.
Another important aspect of Pilates is the emphasis on quality rather than quantity, while also exhorting the importance of breathing and concentration.
Since this discipline is specialized in nature, some instructors will guide through the entire set of exercises that are right for your fitness level. However, you can also try them at home too as several Pilates exercise programs can be found over the internet.
But no matter what: this is a discipline that you will definitely need some help with before you attempt these exercises on your own.
Quality trumps quantity, even when it comes to workouts too! Don’t forget to join us at Bemore Studios during the month of May to try out our online Pilates classes. We’ll be live every week with a selection of Fitness Classes to suit everyone’s needs. We can’t wait to see you there!