Let’s tell why Pilates for beginners is one of the most optimal fitness systems.
What is Pilates?
Most likely, you often heard this word. Pilates is often associated with yoga, stretching, breathing practices. To some extent, Pilates includes all of these elements, but it is still a unique training system and today it is one of the fastest-paced trends in fitness.
What makes the pilates technique exclusive? We suggest taking advantage of the moment and, before proceeding directly to training, familiarize yourself with the main features of Pilates and the principles that its founder, Joseph Pilates, laid the foundation for the methodology.
Yes, Pilates as a system of physical exercises and mental concentration tactics only eventually became known after the person who stood at the origins of its development, and that was in the 1920s. Joseph himself called his methodology countertreatment, implying the possibility of developing full coordination of body, mind, and spirit.
And this is one of the secrets of Pilates: to practice every movement with full control and attention. Joseph was convinced that when we exercise this way, body and mind combine to bring the best possible effect from each exercise.
Initially, this exercise technique was used as a rehabilitation program for former prisoners of war. Later, Pilates worked with a small group of specialists who managed to find out that such a training method can bring significant benefits to all who are interested in improving their fitness level.
As a result, Pilates has become a popular technique for the restoration and development of musculature, and many people now have the opportunity to practice this technique in all its variety of forms and styles.
Who can benefit from pilates classes?
Anyone who is already engaged in it, or interested. Why? One of the advantages of this method is that it works equally well for a wide range of people. Athletes and dancers, the elderly, pregnant women, people who are at different stages of physical rehabilitation – this is an incomplete list of those who, thanks to Pilates, can feel able to move with grace and ease through the harmonious development of strong and solid muscles.
Unlike some other forms of exercise, Pilates focuses on working through the deep muscles of the body and maintaining stretching along the entire spinal column, forming the so-called “muscular corset” and restoring the natural deflections in the back. Pilates training contributes to the development of muscle strength and balance, as well as increasing their flexibility and increasing the range of motion of the joints.
This explains why Pilates is so popular for rehabilitation and rehabilitation purposes. Many athletes claim that Pilates is an excellent foundation for any kind of sports training they do. In other words, Pilates provides a powerful integration of muscle, brain and breathing, which is very difficult to achieve through other training approaches.
How does the pilates technique work?
The main goal of training is elastic, strong muscles. It is important to understand that doing Pilates, we do not seek to build muscle mass, as, for example, in training with weights. During Pilates classes, functional muscles are formed primarily, which works perfectly in the context of the body as a whole and ensures the body’s performance throughout life.
One of the ways Pilates uses to develop strong muscles is to use a special type of muscle contraction called eccentric compression. Also in pilates training sessions, the direction of a safe increase in the length and flexibility of the muscles, as well as the range of motion in the joints, is developed. Although Pilates does not provide such perspectives as could be achieved in yoga practice, but a body that can bend and stretch is quite a realistic goal for beginners to do Pilates.
The main muscles of the body, which are emphasized in the exercises, are the deep muscles of the back, abdomen and pelvis. The development of precisely these groups forms a strong press, flexible back, good posture and refinement of movements. When the press is strong, the body position is maintained automatically. This means that the neck and shoulders can relax, and the rest of the muscles and joints are released to do their work.
One of the paradoxes of Pilates is that the more you exercise, the more energy you get. This is due to the fact that thanks to Pilates, the functioning of the respiratory system and circulatory system is improved, the spine is developed and muscles are stimulated, filling the entire body with pleasant sensations.
If you want to lose weight, then in this case, training in Pilates can be useful. After all, the formula for weight loss remains the same: to burn more calories than to consume. As a fitness method, Pilates combined with aerobic activity can provide enough calories to burn weight and dry muscles.
Pilates: where to start?
Pilates is in many ways highly adaptable method. All exercises in this training system are designed in such a way that they can be performed in various versions and modifications. Making these or other necessary changes makes pilates training safe, but at the same time, a difficult task for any person, regardless of fitness level, body type, or sports needs. Therefore, recommendation number 1 is: “Choose Pilates specifically for yourself”.
If you have not practiced Pilates before, then it is important to decide in what conditions and with whom your workouts will take place. These can be independent classes based on information from books, the Internet, group classes with a trainer in a fitness center, or private lessons.
But here it is necessary to note the following: Pilates for beginners , as a rule, presents certain difficulties in terms of compliance with all the principles of this training system. Therefore, recommendation number 2: “First of all, take a few individual lessons or visit group classes.”
What are the basic principles of doing exercises in Pilates?
Now that we are familiar with what Pilates is as a special training technique, it’s time to think about how to begin to move on to the actual exercise. And the first thing you need to remember is 8 whales of Pilates, on which the whole system is built, allowing you to get the maximum benefit from every movement and exercise.
Centering, concentration, control, accuracy, breathing, regularity, smoothness and visualization are the basic principles that are used in the performance of any movements in Pilates. Working in accordance with these principles allows us to focus on each specific step we take.
Increased attention accelerates the effect of the exercises and allows the body to get more from each exercise than it would be if the exercise was done thoughtlessly. In other words, if you understand what you are going to do and why, then you will have a solid foundation for getting the most out of your Pilates workouts. Next, we outline the actual Pilates training program for beginners.
But, in order to facilitate the task of following the listed principles, for each exercise of the program a muscular focus is indicated, that is, that muscle group on which all attention should be concentrated.
Pilates exercise program for beginners
- Warm up The body must be prepared to safely perform more complex exercises. Always start with breathing! In Pilates, we breathe through the chest: widen the ribs on the inhale and return to the center with an exhalation. Warm-up exercises can be two or three. Then take the mat and start training;
- “Unscrewing the back up and down” from a sitting position (focus: abdominal muscles);
- “Twisting the body to the side,” sitting (focus: external and internal obliques, a group of deep muscles of the spine);
- Rolls on the back (focus: abdominal muscles, balance and coordination);
- “Hundreds” (focus: breath, press);
- “Shoulder bridge” (focus: mobility of the spine, back of the thigh);
- “Crosswise” (focus: obliques, transverse muscle);
- “Rotation of the leg in the hip joint”, in the supine position (focus: abdominals, hip flexors);
- “Swimming”, lying on the stomach (focus: back muscles)
No exercise in Pilates should be done through pain! If this happens during exercise, then the exercise must be replaced, or skipped altogether.
Well, now you know how to prepare for your first Pilates training session. We hope our recommendations were helpful and you will use them.
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