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Mastering the Art of Pilates

Art of Pilates

A form of exercise which is usually mistaken as yoga-Pilates. Pilates has been one of the fitness secrets of celebrities like Madonna and Christy Turlington. Why? Every move in Pilates works the entire body, giving a more satisfying result. If you want to know more about this activity, why don’t you start now?

Background

Combining the essence of physical and mental health, Pilates was born in the early 20th century as a program specially intended for soldiers. It was named after Joseph Pilates who originally developed the routine for the injured dancers. The activity basically targets the stability of the muscles, flexibility and strength regaining.

Pilates has been known as a total body conditioning which involves precise and controlled movement on repetition to strengthen the core, the area between the pelvis and the shoulders. With a greater focus on your core, the proper body alignment, breathing pattern and concentration are also established in this routine.

The principle applied in Pilates makes daily movements more efficient and lessens the occurrence of injuries.

Through the years, Pilates has been associated as well with different sports as an excellent tool in increasing performance. For swimmers, they can swim faster and attain better control while runners claim that there are lesser chances of acquiring injuries through the help of Pilates. Pilates seem to be valuable for equestrian and golf enthusiasts as their command and accuracy improve respectively.

Benefits

Any exercise will offer a lot of advantages for your body. It only takes a proper execution and discipline to perfect every routine. In this context, the effects of Pilates on your body can be felt and or be seen only if you take this routine seriously. The activity mainly focuses on the correct form of the body compared with other routines.

Breathing Rhythm

As you conduct different Pilates move and poses, you will practice proper breathing pattern. There are moments that you have to hold your breath and exhale at the exact moment for you not lose too much air.

Balance

The poses and or positions will challenge your body’s equilibrium. One of the primary goals of Pilates is to keep the entire body centered and balanced.

Control

To be able to perfect each routine, you need to concentrate. Focus on how to do the steps accurately. From physical concentration, your mind will follow and you will just achieve this sense of control and connection naturally.

Relaxation and Strength

This is the best thing about practicing Pilates, after you acquire strength there are specific routines, usually performed at the end of each class, which ensures your mind and body get calm.

Basic Movements in Pilates

The basic movements in Pilates are patterned after the usual poses of some animals such as swans and seals. Before engaging in type of activity, make sure that you don’t have any medical condition. The pace of the routines differs, that’s why it is necessary to take necessary precaution.

Balancing Act

To do this position, you have to sit on the floor and lift your legs, forming an obtuse angle from the floor. Place your hands at the back of your thighs and curl your upper body a little, pulling in your abdominal muscles. Keep this position for 30 seconds and avoid rolling on. Your ability to maintain body equilibrium will be tested here and at the same time pressure will be concentrated on your abdominal. Making this routine more effective, slowly raise your legs until your knees touch your forehead. Still, keep your hands at the back of your thighs and then go back to the original position.

Leg Circles

This Pilates move is recommended for the beginners. All you have to do is to lie down on the mat and pull your legs, forming an acute angle, while your hands are placed on your sides. Next, lift your right leg and start forming a circle in the air for 16 counts. Do the same thing on your left leg. As your leg is circling in the air, notice how your abs engaged during the routine. You can repeat the sequence for eight times.

Leg Up

The next position would be a bit challenging if you are quite obese. Leg raising would require you to lift your body. Lie straight on the ground and place your hands on your side. Put your legs together and slowly raise them. Make sure to keep them straight. Extend your body upwards, leaving your head and shoulders on the ground. Hold that position for 10 seconds and then slowly put your legs down. For the second time around, hold your position for 15 seconds; and then you can extend it up to 30 seconds. The strength of your core will play a vital role when you hold your position, consequently, your abdominal section is stretched from going up and down.

Kick it

If you prefer some movements, then you may want to try this routine. Lay on your back and put your hands behind your knee. Extend your right leg while you pull your left leg towards you. After 4 counts, switch the position of your legs. Use your full force in extending and pulling of your legs. It will appear like you are kicking in the air but with a pause. You can do this for 10 minutes. For the next five minutes, try a two-second interval; apparently, the rhythm will be faster and will result into a better body form.

Reach your toes

It may look like you are playing but this one is an effective Pilates move. Sit straight on the mat and spread your legs for about two feet. Spread your arms and keep your palms open. Reach for your left toes using your right hand, extend your right arms as much as you can. Go back to your original position. This time, reach for your right toes using your left hand. Repeat this routine for 5 minutes. You can also make your movement faster, if you desire. The important factor here is how your core strength is tested and developed over time, aside from the fact that your lower back is exercised.

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