Developed by Joseph Pilates in Europe in the 20’s, Pilates is a technique he used to help rehabilitate injured soldiers in WW1. Pilates, through a series of controlled precise movements gives you a full body workout with the emphasis on strengthening your core. Joseph Pilates would be pleased to know that today many physical therapists have incorporated Pilates exercises into their practice to help patients recover from injury.
What Pilates teaches you is the muscles of the abdomen as well as the back & the buttocks all work together to create your core. Pilates exercises can be performed on a mat or by using specific Pilates machines. The Pilates mat exercises are what we will look at here starting with the misconception that you need to do it on a machine.
There are Pilates studios which teach on machines named the Cadillac, the Reformer, the Chair. These are to guide your body in doing the movement in a similar way that the leg press machine does at the gym. Pilates mat on the other hand, is exercise that relies on you to stay in the proper position as you execute the exercises. If you are budget minded the mat classes are less expensive & even more effective.
That Pilates is difficult & not for beginning exercisers, is another myth. A good instructor will always show each exercise with various modifications to accommodate everyone.
Many men seem to think that they can’t do Pilates because they imagine they are not flexible enough. Many of the basic Pilates exercises are ones that men, because of their upper body strength, can do much easier than women. Most of the women I teach have extremely tight hamstrings & find that improved flexibility comes as a result of doing Pilates. Yoga is the practice that focuses on poses & flexibility. In Pilates the emphasis is on controlled movement.
Finally, age or weight are not factors that should discourage one from trying Pilates. I have worked with many people from 18-71 from size S-XL. And they all do just fine & they actually have fun!
I am a certified Pilates mat instructor teaching class & private sessions in Wakefield MA. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook page is Complete Body by Connie.