Pilates exercises lengthen all the major muscle groups and stretch in the body in a balanced fashion.
Pilates can be an aerobic and non-aerobic form of exercise. It requires concentration and focus, because you move your body through precise ranges of motion. Each exercise has a prescribed placement, rhythm and breathing pattern. In Pilates, your muscles are never worked to exhaustion, so there is no sweating or straining, just intense concentration. The workout consists of a variety of exercise sequences that are performed in low repetitions. Pilates caters for everyone, from beginner to advanced, and even pregnant. You can perform exercises using your own body weight, or with the help of various pieces of equipment.
Basic Forms Of Pilates
- Mat-based Pilates involves a series of exercises performed on the floor using gravity and your own body weight to provide resistance. The main aim is to condition the deeper, supporting muscles of your body to improve posture, balance and coordination
- Equipment-based Pilates includes specific equipment that works against spring-loaded resistance, including the ‘reformer’, which is a moveable carriage that you push and pull along its tracks. Some forms of Pilates include weights (such as dumbbells) and other types of small equipment that offer resistance to the muscles
- Increased muscle strength and tone, particularly of your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks (the ‘core’).
- Balanced muscular strength on both sides of your body and thus improving flexibility.
- Improved stabilisation of your spine, while improving posture.
- Rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances.
- Stress management and relaxation.
Source: Dreambody Fitness Team. Image: iStock