An Introduction to Pilates

The love of Pilates is on the rise and we’re seeing many fall into the hype.

With impressive reformer videos from our favourite influencers flooding our socials, it’s easy to understand why everyone’s so inclined to try Pilates out.

It seems to be the secret to a slim waist and toned physique…but is Pilates worth it?

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a low impact exercise, focusing mainly on flexibility, strengthening muscles, and improving endurance. Pilates tends to be a combination of poses that target core activation through sets like leg extensions, toe taps, and abdominal crunches. Merged with breathing exercises and challenging stretches. Usually paired or compared to Yoga; both emphasise slow, flowing movements and prioritise strength & balance.

Pilates was first introduced as a training method to dancers recovering from an injury. It was a practice focused on rehabilitation. Therefore, it is ideal for those that want to work out but are restricted by what exercises they can do. Instead of putting pressure on your body, it will help assist recovery and prevent further injury.

What you will need

All you need for Pilates is a bit of moving space and a mat for body protection – when you have these two, you’re all set.

There are other forms of Pilates such as reformer, which includes a moving piece of equipment that almost looks like a bed with springs, ropes, and pulleys. Reformer classes are usually for the more advanced, but a simple mat-bodyweight workout is just as effective.

To feel that extra burn, we recommend incorporating some ankle weights to your next session – adding a bit of extra weight will encourage muscle gains and tighten your core.

You will also find that some instructors include other pieces of equipment into their practice, such as Yoga Balls, Foam Rollers, and Resistance Bands, enhancing your workout and ensuring you get the ultimate stretch.

Benefits

There are many benefits to Pilates, for both the mind and the body.

Majority of poses practiced focus on stretching the body and therefore lead to increased flexibility. These positions are then held to engage the core and boost balance.

Pilates is known to improve core engagement but it’s also a great full body workout and will result in total body strengthening. Perfect for those who want to target all over but aren’t a fan of cardio.

Like in Yoga, we combine movement with focused breathing exercises, improving our body and breath awareness.

Like all forms of exercise, Pilates will help release endorphins – boosting your mood. Just a 30-minute morning session will positively impact your day and can relieve symptoms of anxiety, depression and improve your mental health.

 

 

Overall, Pilates is the perfect full body exercise for those wanting a low-impact effective workout. Practice consistently and you will notice major improvements in your flexibility, mobility, and overall strength.

 

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Lucie Croke

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