- Helps build a lean, strong body without muscle bulk.
- Helps calm your mind so that you can beat stress, anxiety and depression.
- Highly effective exercise to strengthen and develop the ‘core’ of the body.
- Strengthens the body - less risk for aggravation from injury.
- Strengthens stabilizer muscles needed for graceful, fluid movements.
- Older adults who are prone to stiff, aching joints and injuries can benefit significantly.
Pilates is a physical fitness system that was conceptualized by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century.
The exercise program is based on increasing the strength of core postural muscles that help the body balance and support the spine. Pilates does not focus on building muscle mass, rather it targets breathing and endurance. It aligns the spine, strengthens the abdomen and lower back, builds flexibility, agility, graceful movement and makes your body well toned and shapely. Because of the focus on proper alignment, core muscle strengthening and support, nagging issues such as back pain are alleviated.
It has rapidly grown into a very popular form of exercise among celebrities, models, athletes and virtually anyone who wants to have a fit, shapely body.
Pilates is not just another exercise regimen, it is a workout with many health benefits. Since it is low impact, pilates suits people of all ages as well as people with different aptitudes and fitness levels.
Given time and dedication, Pilates can help improve physical strength, prevent back pain, increase height (due to postural alignment and stretching exercises), reduce stress, boost energy, increase the chances of faster recovery from an injury, strengthen core muscles, create a stronger, more flexible spine, and enhance our mental awareness. It also helps to cultivate a toned, shaped physique.
How many types of exercises are there in Pilates?
Pilates contains more than 500 controlled, low-impact exercises that tone the body and engage the mind.
How do I get started with Pilates?
You can begin with basic mat-based exercises. Props like swiss balls, circles and resistance bands can add more interest and fun while exercising.
Is Pilates more suited to women?
Though Pilates has traditionally appealed to women, this doesn’t mean men should shy away from doing it! In fact, Pilates can have added benefits for men because men are generally less flexible than women. Most male celebrities, sports personalities, cricket players, football and rugby players are using Pilates.
Can I do Pilates while pregnant?
Pilates can be good for strengthening a woman’s body and mind during pregnancy. However, the exercises should comprise of gentle stretching only; avoid doing exercises that involve lying on the back and over exertion of the abdominal muscles. Consult with your doctor for more information.
How often should I do Pilates?
Pilates should be done 2-4 times a week. You may also try cardiovascular exercises like walking, cycling and swimming along with Pilates.
What is the difference between Pilates and Yoga?
Pilates and Yoga are different, but they also have a lot in common. Joseph Pilates drew inspiration from Eastern traditional exercises (yoga) and western exercises for developing Pilates. Pilates is more dynamic than yoga - in general, yoga is more focused static holding and restraint.
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The research paper entitled, "Pilates as an Aid to Physical Rehabilitation" published last 2006 showed that Pilates to be a great option for rehabilitation after knee injury, hip replacement or hip injury.
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