If you want to improve your flexibility and improve your body’s core strength, then the pilates method is the way to go. This technique is a unique and different way to exercise, and it involves more than just a series of exercises.
Joseph Pilates, the man who developed pilates designed it to help users develop leaner and longer muscles, establish core stability and strength and to connect their minds with their bodies.
Anyone can use pilates exercises regardless of their fitness and health levels, and the results are improved strength, flexibility, balance, posture coordination and mental focus. All these positive results of the exercise will change how you feel, move and feel for the rest of your life if you make it a habit.
There are two types of pilates, namely: mat-based pilates and equipment-based pilates. mat-based pilates involves a series of exercises performed on the floor using both your body and gravity to provide the needed resistance.
The method aims at conditioning the deeper, supporting muscles of your body to improve aspects like balance, coordination and posture.
Equipment-based pilates, on the other hand, involves the use of pilates equipment that can offer resistance to muscles. This equipment would typically include rollers, pilates chairs and more.
Equipment needed for pilates
Resistance bands are a flexible piece of gear that you can use whenever you need some added resistance or when you want to challenge the range of motion. The list of exercise and therapeutic movements that you can do using these bands is endless, plus they are lightweight to allow portability.
You need a pilates mat to avoid discomfort when exercising on a hard surface. These mats are inexpensive and are readily available in both online and land-based stores. You need a mat for most types of pilates.
Weighted exercise balls can be a great addition to your pilates workout, particularly in the early days as they force muscles to engage and stabilise the whole body using the balancing difficulty. The two types commonly used in pilates exercises are the standard exercise and the mini pilate balls.
Pilates at home vs at the gym
Both pilates at home and at the gym can give you positive results if you have anything you need and the willingness to make the exercises an everyday habit. People who did pilates when it was still new did not have the home options as there were no instruction videos that one can follow and the equipment used took up a lot of space.
Nowadays, you can access a variety of exercise videos and equipment in the comfort of your home. The benefits of doing pilates at home are that you can do the exercise at any time, unlike when you have to rely on the schedule of the gym. You will also move at your own pace as you will not feel pressured by the success of others.
Most of the equipment needed are now available online and at affordable prices. The disadvantage of home pilates is that you don’t get the opportunity to work one-on-one with an experienced pilates instructor. A pilates instructor ensures that you exercise correctly to avoid injury, plus they will also ensure that you are completing the exercises.
People who have their pilates exercises at the gym also enjoy some benefits and face some challenges. One advantage is that you will have a trained instructor to guide you and ensure that you perform the exercises correctly. You also eliminate the need to buy and store the equipment needed for the sessions. The drawbacks of pilates at the gym are that it is not as flexible as exercising at home, plus you will have to pay for the services.
Benefits of pilates
Pilates has a lot of benefits to users, including balanced muscles on both sides of your body, improved flexibility and improved posture. Other benefits include increased lung capacity, better coordination and balance, increased body awareness, enhanced concentration, injury prevention and rehabilitation and increased body awareness.
Pilates newbies also find it useful in increasing muscle strength and muscle tone, especially on core muscles and areas such as arms, shoulders, feet and legs. This fun and unique way to work out is also suitable for everyone irrespective of their gender, health status and age, plus you can practise it anywhere, including your home and office.
Author: Ryan Stintson
As an experienced content writer for Technical Writers, Ryan possesses an A* A level in English Literature. After taking a gap year, before acquiring a full time career in content creation, Ryan also worked as a personal trainer for his local gym where he developed his wealth of knowledge in the health and fitness industry.