Interest in Pilates has exploded over the last decade and now millions of Americans practice it every year. But what exactly is this exercise method and is it right for you?
If you've heard Pilates mentioned and thought it might be just a different form of yoga, there's a lot more to it. Our guide will walk you through what is Pilates and how you can join in, no matter what fitness level you're at.
Origin of Pilates
Joseph Pilates led a very active, health-conscious life. He practiced martial arts, boxing, gymnastics, and more.
During WWI, he became a nurse-physiotherapist for others interned in the same English hospital. He had the brilliant idea to arrange bed springs to headboards and bed frames so that disabled patients could use them as resistance equipment.
These were the earliest origins of reformers and other Pilates equipment. Before we discuss the equipment, let's talk about the method itself.
Pilates exercises focus on your core, that is, the abdominal and trunk area. By building a strong core, you support your spine and increase comfort, flexibility, and strength.
This isn't just about getting a six-pack. Pilates has a holistic approach to physical strength, training your muscles to work together, correct breathing patterns, and centering on deep, stabilizing muscles that are often overlooked.
Exercises are low impact, yet effective. You often use your own body weight—but expect to feel a burn afterward.
Exercises and Classes
You can do Pilates anywhere. There are plenty of DVD or online classes that you can do right from the comfort of your own home.
Your best bet to ensure you have proper alignment and understand the principles is to try a class with a certified teacher. There are two types of classes—mat and reformer.
Mat Pilates is set up like a yoga class in that your main piece of equipment is a mat. Unlike a yoga class, there might be resistance bands, a resistance ring, or small weights.
Reformers are equipment that originated with Joseph Pilate's bed springs idea. A Pilates reformer looks like a sliding platform with various bands and springs attached to it.
There are countless benefits to practicing Pilates. As a holistic practice, you'll start to notice positive changes after you start your practice.
With core strength, the rest of your body feels supported. You'll increase flexibility and range of movement while decreasing those aches and pains we feel when we're out of alignment.
Because there's a lot of focus on small muscles, you might boost your mindfulness. And achieving a lean, muscled Pilates body isn't bad, either!
Try Pilates Today
This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what Pilates is all about. Once you start practicing, you'll discover that it's way more than just a fad.
Ready to take control of your health right now? We're here to guide you and help you find what you need.
Reach out to us today and we can help you find reformers and other Pilates equipment to take your practice to the next level.