Pilates is an exercise system that has a lot of health benefits, much more than the mere developing strong abs (which is already a great incentive). Incorporating elements of yoga, martial arts and Western forms of exercise, it can help improve posture, muscle tone and flexibility, core strength and joint mobility, as well as relieve stress and tension.
Whether you’re just approaching Pilates or you’re already an expert, here are five facts that you might like to know, to get the very best out of your training.
Pilates will challenge your body
One of the best advantages of practicing Pilates is that not only it will put your mind through an extreme concentration, but it will also push your body to a strenuous workout. Super challenging!
And, of course, from extreme challenges come great results, which in case of Pilates can be various, as we said before.
Quality is more important than quantity
Pilates doesn’t leave anything to chance, so get ready to be organised and extremely precise. To have great results it is necessary to do everything in the right way. This is why you should learn about the posture, the breathing, the movement, the number of repetitions, etc. from a qualified teacher, such as the ones we offer here at Body Works West.
Pilates is not derivative of yoga
One of the biggest misconceptions about Pilates is that it is a form of yoga. That is really not right as Pilates is a system by itself, developed by the physicist Joseph Pilates, who infused his belief that both mental and physical health is interrelated in this physical fitness system. This means that there’s nothing better than this if you’re willing to exercise both your concentration skills and your body strength.
‘Contrology’ is Pilates’ second name
Joseph Pilates thought of “control” as such an important element for the system he was building that he decided to give Pilates a second name: “Contrology”. The reason for this is that whoever is practicing Pilates should be in constant control of each and every movement, and this will lead to visible benefits for muscular control of the back, limbs and abdominal muscles.
What’s the best way to link mental concentration and physical resistance? Proper breathing. Pilates requires great attention to proper breathing techniques because a lot of stress is laid on exhaling by wriggling out all the air from your lungs while practicing. This is why any Pilates session won’t be complete without conscious breathing in and out and it could be difficult to learn how to do this properly without the help of a specialised teacher.
Follow these few hints and you’ll get the best out of your training. At Body Works West we have 5 Pilates Reformer machines which, by using ‘spring resistance’, enable you to stretch for longer and deeper than you could ever have imagined, so come give us a try!