Pilates is frequently referenced as a great whole-body exercise, but you may be wondering 'what is Pilates' as well as what makes it so great! When you're looking to learn more, you can read all about what makes Pilates what it is today, why you would love doing it, and how to get started!
Learning Pilates is a rewarding experience that goes a long way to improved overall health and well-being. The best part? It's extremely easy to get started once you find your preferred type of Pilates!
What Is Pilates
Exercise is an important part of an active and healthy lifestyle. Pilates is a type of exercise where you repeat motions to achieve an elevated heart rate.
Some movements can be completed on a mat, and others can be completed while standing. Pilates is core-focused and will require you to use your abdominal muscles.
Pilates helps you improve your flexibility, strength, and balance with the various movements and repetitions. Pilates is always a great way to burn off extra calories.
As you continue reading this article, you will learn more about the movements, uses, and history. You will also see why it has become so popular and learn techniques used in this versatile and easy-to-start form of exercise.
Where Did Pilates Originate?
Pilates was started in Germany, by a man named Joseph Pilates. Joseph started the Pilates movement after overcoming childhood sickness and longing for a healthy adulthood.
The core pilates was originally designed to aid in the rehabilitation of injured soldiers during World War I when Joseph was held at an internment camp on the Isle of Man. The method emphasizes proper posture, controlled breathing, and deliberate, smooth movements to achieve strength, flexibility, and balance.
Joseph studied physical fitness, learning the ins and outs of health. Incorporating elements from anatomy, tai chi, yoga, martial arts, and meditation. He used the basic principles of each to create what we know today as Pilates.
Why Should I Do Pilates?
Many people search for a fitness routine that is well-rounded and proven to have results. Whether the results are a tighter core, stronger arms, or a healthier heart, Pilates can do it all.
Pilates can be done by beginners or fitness experts. No matter where you lie on the spectrum of health, you can incorporate Pilates into your daily routine.
Pilates has many benefits, unlike some exercises, which target only muscle growth or cardiovascular health, Pilates does both. Pilates can also help with other areas of your health as well.
Pilates will improve your flexibility, and posture, and increase your energy levels. One hour of Pilates can burn up to 200 calories or more, helping you achieve a calorie deficit which improves your chances of losing weight.
Pilates also helps with overall wellness and satisfaction with life. Since a Pilates workout consists of achieving small goals from repetition, your body will recognize these achievements and release dopamine.
Dopamine is known as the achievement hormone, your body needs this hormone to send signals to your brain that you have accomplished something. Once the hormone is released you get flooded with the feeling of pleasure and reward.
Can Anyone Do Pilates?
With any new exercise, you should always consult with your doctor first to make sure that you are healthy enough for the sudden intake of physical activity.
Once cleared by your doctor that you are able to start a new exercise routine, Pilates is a great place to start. Pilates can be done by almost everyone.
Pilates can be completed at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home. Pilates is a low-impact exercise that is great for beginners because of its ability to be customized.
Did you know that there are over 600 customized routines of Pilates? Each and every person is sure to find one that suits their needs!
How Often Should You Do Pilates?
Pilates is a very beneficial workout that should be done at least 3 days per week to achieve the most benefits, especially when starting out.
Once you are accustomed to the workout you can increase your Pilates workouts to four or five days per week, possibly even six days per week.
If you opt to do Pilates more than four days per week be sure to switch up the routine to keep your body balanced.
You can do Pilates every day since it does micro-damage to the muscles, unlike intense workouts such as weightlifting or bodybuilding. But we recommend at least one or two rest days for a healthy balance.
Rest days are important for various reasons, one of them being general recovery. You want your body to recover and allow yourself to not become bored with the regimen.
If you want to achieve Pilates for the long term, it helps to allow yourself breaks to reduce the chances of becoming burnt out. It also allows you to do other things that you can enjoy without putting too much pressure on yourself.
How To Do Pilates?
Now that you are intrigued about the world phenomenon known as Pilates, you are probably interested in how to start doing Pilates yourself!
The first thing you want to do when starting a Pilates routine is decide if you want to start in a studio that has an instructor, or if you would rather do it by yourself at home.
Once you choose your method of learning, you will want to get the right equipment and clothing. You will want to wear clothing that is stretchy and breathable. Tank tops, t-shirts, yoga pants, or cotton shorts are all suitable clothing for Pilates.
You will need items such as a yoga mat, ankle weights, a reformer, a Pilates ball, and a foam roller. All of these tools are optional and not needed to get started. But, as you progress these items can be incorporated to make the workouts harder and to help switch them up.
Once you have what you need to begin, you can try the following beginner Pilates moves:
- Start by laying down on your mat.
- Leaving your arms down at your sides.
- Raise one leg into the air.
- Rotate your leg clockwise for 2 minutes
- Reverse the rotation counterclockwise for another 2 minutes.
Plank Leg Lift
- Go into a plank position.
- Lift one leg up into the air parallel to your shoulders.
- Engage your core, keeping it tight. Not relaxed.
- Repeat with your other leg.
What Do I Think Of Pilates?
I love Pilates! It is a great workout for people of all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels. It allows you to work out at your own pace and do moves that work well with your body.
Pilates was my favorite thing ever when I was pregnant, and I utilized a few standing exercises when I couldn't bear to be still anymore. 🙂 You can easily tailor Pilates to your level of fitness and any limited mobility to achieve the goals that you want!
Have you tried Pilates? What are your tips or recommendations about this inclusive workout? Drop a comment below about your favorite pilates workout.