Benefits of Pilates for Women

Pilates are a popular exercise choice for women, because they help to strengthen the body’s core without increasing muscle bulk. Most of them are looking for a fitness activity that can form part of an active lifestyle that will help them achieve a sleek, toned look, and Pilates definitely delivers.

The exercises that make up a Pilates workout help the participant focus on her body so that she is aware of the movements she is making. They also help to increase flexibility and promote good posture.

There are classes available for women at various levels of experience with Pilates, from beginner to expert. Beginner classes start with working out on mats, and the focus is to have the participant focus on the connection between the body and the mind. The participants learn to concentrate fully on the way their body is moving as they work on performing smooth movements.

Unlike strength training exercises that would be performed in a gym, the focus in a Pilates class is on the quality of the movement – not on the number of reps that are performed. As a result, the muscles become elongated and increase in elasticity, and they are less prone to injury.

When a woman signs up for a Pilates class, she goes through a series of movements that work various muscle groups. All the muscles in the body are strengthened as she does so, instead of a routine that focuses on one group only.

If you are a woman who is looking for a whole body workout that will help you to achieve better posture and joint health, consider a Pilates workout. Before you commit to a whole series of classes, ask if you can pay as you go and attend a couple of sessions. Many studios allow newcomers to do this to test the waters to see if this type of exercise is right for them.

How to Get the Most Out of a Pilates Workout

Pilates is a way of exercising based on movements that start from a strong core in the body. It uses different types of equipment, such as exercise balls, resistance bands and foam rollers to help participants improve their fitness.

This method is very popular, and gyms and fitness centers around the country offer Pilates classes. Before you sign up for one, be sure to ask whether the instructors running them has been certified. A person who is fully qualified to teach Pilates has gone through several hundred hours of training and knows how to adapt the movements so that new students are less likely to injure themselves.

A person who is new to this type of fitness routine to encourage active living starts off with a very basic set of exercises. New movements are introduced based on the ones the student has already learned in a natural progression.

To get the most out of a Pilates workout, keep the following tips in mind:

Wear Comfortable Clothing

Avoid anything that feels restrictive when you are taking a class. Shorts or a tank top and a T-shirt are good choices. These exercises are meant to be done while barefoot, so you don’t need to worry about buying special shoes to exercise in.

Pilates are not meant to hurt, so if you start experiencing pain while performing the movements, it’s a sign to stop. Tell your instructor if you feel that you are straining or are feeling uncomfortable in any way.

Stay Focused and Breathe Properly as You Exercise

This type of exercise includes specific breathing techniques that you will be taught when you start going to classes. Don’t hold your breath while performing the movements; instead focus on your movements and breathe with them.

Move Slowly and Deliberately

Don’t perform jerky motions while doing Pilates. Instead, you want to create a fluid movement while performing the exercises. Think about dancers and the way they move if you need some inspiration.

Combine Pilates and Aerobics for a Full Workout

Pilates is not the type of exercise choice where you necessarily expect to get really sweaty. Once you have some experience in performing the motions, you can move quicker to get a better cardio workout. Another choice is to use Pilates as a way to improve your flexibility and strength and add something like using a stair stepper machine, walking, jogging, swimming  or cycling to get a more complete workout. All of these examples can help improve heart health through exercise.

Pilates for Men: A Great Workout Choice

Pilates aren’t just for women. This method of exercising is very popular with women, and a man who decides to sign up for a class may find himself outnumbered. That shouldn’t discourage someone from learning more about Pilates and incorporating them into a total fitness routine.

With its focus on building core strength, Pilates provides a good starting point for men who want to improve their fitness. The exercises help to strengthen the abdomen and back, which is a great foundation for a man to build on if he wants to participate in any type of sport or cross-training.

A man who exercises regularly will likely have very tight, inflexible muscles. Pilates works to sculpt the body from the inside and helps to keep the muscles relaxed. As a result, everyday activities can be performed without putting a strain on the joints.

Benefits of Taking Pilates

The benefits of taking a Pilates class are as follows:

  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Functional Strength
  • Posture
  • Stability


Pilates Classes

A Pilates studio will have equipment as well as exercise mats for students to use. Beginners will start by learning mat exercises, which is a great choice because the exercises can be adapted for individual students’ needs.

By starting with the mat exercises, students can learn the basic movements of Pilates before moving onto the machines. Don’t assume that because there is no exercise equipment being used that the mat exercises can’t be challenging. You will find that you build strength very quickly after starting the classes.

Wear comfortable clothing to class that allows you to move freely. Don’t wear baggy clothing; the instructor needs to be able to see if you are using the right muscles when you perform the movements in class. Pilates exercises are usually done barefoot, so you don’t need to invest in expensive running shoes if you decide to try them.

Adding Pilates to an overall fitness routine is a great choice for men. The benefits that the exercises provide will carry over into any other type of physical activity that he becomes involved in.

Pilates Offer Many Benefits to Participants

Pilates is a very popular way of exercising, and for good reason. This workout improves core abdominal strength and decreases pain in the neck, back and joints. And it’s more fun than an exercise ball work out routine. Pilates enthusiasts also report increased flexibility and better range of motion. Posture and circulation improve as well.

It’s not meant to be one type of exercise only, but rather a system of working out that may include work on exercise mats as well as equipment. The equipment is a good place for a beginner to start, since it gives the participant support while they are attempting to do the exercises.

Along with these impressive benefits, what other reasons are there to sign up for a Pilates class? Check them out here:

Increased Body Awareness

Pilates exercises are done deliberately and with control at all times. The focus is on the body’s core and the movements start there and radiate out. Improved core strength makes gives the Pilates enthusiast better posture, which helps to lower the incidence of neck and back pain.

Abdominal Strength

Taking Pilates may not give all participants a washboard stomach, but it will help participants develop flexibility in their midsection. This is a good exercise choice for people who aren’t necessarily interested in developing a hard body look, but who are looking for balance and flexibility instead.

A good overall fitness routine, including aerobic exercise and strength training, can help to change a person’s body shape, but it’s not a quick fix. Being patient and taking a long-term view can help to improve a person’s overall fitness, though.

Body Control

After getting some experience with Pilates, the participant learns how to move whole sets of muscles together. If the student has learned the techniques properly, moving becomes a deliberate act that exemplifies grace and control at all times.

Before starting Pilates or any other type of exercise routine, check with a physician. While this form of exercise can help people who are living with back or joint pain, it’s important to get a proper diagnosis so you can get the most out of the exercise program. This type of movement exercise can help to manage pain, but it should be part of an overall treatment program that is being done under medical supervision.

What are Pilates?

Pilates are a form of exercise named after Joseph Pilates. Born in Germany in 1883, Pilates developed his system of exercises to strengthen the mind and the body. He believed that a person’ s physical and mental health were related.

This type of exercise involves starting from a strong core and then making controlled movements. Modern Pilates routines use several types of exercise equipment to help participants improve their fitness, including small weighted balls, foam rollers and rotating disks. Large exercise balls and exercise bands are also used to stay active and improve fitness.

Principles of Pilates

Pilates routines are developed based on the following core principles:

Concentration

The person performing the movements must give the exercise his or her full attention.

Control

The person performing the Pilates exercise is required to be in control of his or her body at all times. Muscles must work against gravity; if a piece of exercise equipment is being used, the muscles must also work against that apparatus to complete the required movement.

Centering

The group of muscles located in the center of the body (abs, upper and lower back, buttocks, hips and inner thighs) are an integral part of this exercise technique. Collectively, they are called the “powerhouse” and all Pilates movements start in this part of the body and move outward to the extremities.

Efficiency of Movement

Once a person gets some experience performing Pilates exercises, they are meant to be performed in a fluid movement. The goal is for the individual to build strength and increase stamina as he or she performs the movements.

Precision

All the Pilates movements are meant to be performed in a precise manner. Strength is built up by performing a few concentrated movements rather than several sluggish ones. This concept of precision is meant to eventually influence the Pilates participant’s everyday life as graceful movements.

Breathing

Deep breathing, with full inhalation and complete exhalation, is part of performing Pilates. The breathing is directed into the lower ribcage in order to keep the lower abdominal muscles close to the spine. As the person practicing this type of exercise gains more experience in the specialized breathing techniques that are part of a Pilates exercise routine, they learn to coordinate their breathing with specific movements.