Pilates works by combining breathing techniques with unique stretches. It is different to other forms of exercise as it focuses on improving the body’s core, making the body more flexible and stronger. Many people confuse it with yoga, but Pilates is actually much more dynamic because it exercises the body through stretching and targets flexibility, posture, and strength. The end result is a prevailing mix of better posture, less tension, clearer understanding of correct body mechanics that assists in injury prevention and an overall feeling of well-being. Pilates is a safe and gentle exercise system, making it a great way of maintaining pre and post natal fitness.
Pilates is a really good body exercise for women as it tones and firms up muscles without giving you that bulky, bodybuilder look. Pilates also increases the strength and effectiveness of your core stabiliser muscles which might not be targeted during normal abdominal exercise. Pilates also enhance what practitioners call “body awareness”. It gives you awareness into how your body acts during exercise and even normal activity around the house. This helps you to avoid injuries and have the correct posture and style during everyday tasks. Pilates also teaches people who engage in the exercise regime to be more economical and efficient in their body movements, which makes your movement smoother, safer and less prone to injuries.
For your first taste of Pilates, we suggest you go to a gym or workout centre that specialises in Pilates or has Pilates classes. Some of the positions and exercises are quite difficult to master and it’s always best to receive instructions for the experts, especially when you are just getting started. There are two simple to do exercises that may just give you a taste of Pilates so you can see if it’s something you might want to pursue.
The Ballerina Arms exercise:
Repeat the exercise three times every day, and in one week you should see a major difference in your posture.
The Roll Up exercise:
No more than ten repetitions should be done in a row.
Pilates is great exercise as it increases flexibility, muscle tone, circulation, energy levels and overall fitness.