Pilates is a set of gymnastic exercises aimed not at developing physical strength, but at tightening the muscles of the body, bringing the body into tone, and also serving to improve the overall health of the body. The classes were created in 1920 and were originally used as physical rehabilitation therapy for injured track and field athletes and dancers.
While doing the exercises, you do not need to give all your best, keep track of the time and strain a lot. The main thing is to monitor your breathing and concentrate on the technique of movement. For this, it is important to control the work of the press and the coordination of the interaction of body parts.
Features of Pilates: differences from other types of training
Gymnastics is very different from regular aerobics, acrobatics, and even yoga. The main features of the workout are:
- The focus is not on the number of exercises performed, but on the quality – it is better to do less, but more accurately.
- It is important to choose the right exercises and make up a complex that will help work out the whole body, and not a separate part of it. This will help the tips from our article.
- Ordinary strength training tends to work the largest core muscle groups, making them stronger, and the weak ones lagging behind even further. Pilates allows you to work evenly, so it brings more health benefits.
- Home exercises are absolutely non-traumatic. You do not need shells, weights and other equipment to complete it. Light workouts with body weight are suitable for people with a weak physical condition. If you are already doing strength training, Pilates can help give your body and muscles a beautiful, harmonious look.
- During classes there will be no strong fatigue or tension, but the muscles will still tighten, the spine will straighten, and the body will receive a charge of energy and vigor. Posture will improve over time.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Pilates
Any type of physical activity has more advantages than disadvantages. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons for Pilates exercises. The advantages include:
- Slim stomach. In almost every exercise from the complex, you need to pull the navel to the spine. Over time, the habit of keeping your belly drawn in will affect your appearance.
- Healthy back and correct posture. Uniform load on the body helps to get rid of back and lower back pains, relieves strained shoulders.
- A toned body. Flabbiness and cellulite will disappear – this is due to accelerated metabolism and improved blood circulation.
- No injury. The wellness complex only strengthens and develops the body, and does not expose it to additional danger.
- Developed breathing. It is very important to breathe correctly during exercise. Mindful deep breathing improves heart and lung function and promotes calmness.
- Flexible and movable joints. In ordinary life, we move a little, and some of the small joints generally remain motionless. Pilates will provide a dynamic load on all joints, which will prolong their life and performance.
- Good dexterity and coordination. Many movements are aimed at developing balance, as well as maintaining balance, which can be beneficial in life.
- A hardened spirit and the ability to cope with stress. Breathing exercises, which are performed along with physical exercises in Pilates, allow you to remain calm, to approach any problem consciously.
An added benefit is that Pilates exercises for the home are often practiced by pregnant women. Elastic muscles are less likely to tear during childbirth, and good deep breathing skills make contractions easier.
The disadvantages of this fitness area are minimal and highly controversial. The disadvantages include:
- Low effectiveness for weight loss. An hour of exercise from Pilates will burn up to 300 calories if you move quickly. In comparison, heavy weight training or HIIT training can burn between 650-700 calories per hour.
- High precision during exercise. At first, training with an instructor or observing the technique in the mirror can be helpful. 3-4 trial lessons can be done using the video from our article.
- The minimum load for pumping muscles. Muscle tissue will become more flexible, which will affect freedom of movement, but strength indicators will not increase.
If your goal is to tighten your body, and not build muscle or lose a couple of tens of kg, feel free to choose Pilates.
Contraindications to Pilates Exercise
The complex of movements is suitable for everyone, regardless of gender, weight, level of fitness. It is worth consulting with your doctor before starting classes:
- Pregnant women or ladies over the age of 40-45;
- People after operations, serious injuries or with diseases of the cardiovascular system;
- Those who are suffering from an acute form of illness at the moment;
- People with a lot of excess weight.
Pilates exercises – TOP-10 most effective
From the listed exercises, you can create your own training program by changing the duration of holding the posture or the number of repetitions. Also below are ready-made video instructions with other movements.
The most common exercise of a static nature. It works all the muscles of the body, especially the abs. Gives stress to the arms and shoulders, tightens the back of the thigh. During execution, you need to ensure that the elbows are located strictly under the shoulders, and the pelvis does not drop and does not rise too high.
The movement will help to make the buttocks beautiful and toned, relieve tension in the lower back, relieve spinal pain and align posture. When doing it, try to raise the pelvis as high as possible, but do not stand on tiptoes and follow the technique.
The semi-static exercise is used to align posture, strengthen all the muscles of the back, give a beautiful shape to the posterior deltoid muscles, buttocks and the back of the thigh. Start with a slight upward bend, each time trying to lift your chest and legs higher and higher from the floor.
Side Plank Leg Raises
This movement will help you achieve a leaner waist and strong oblique abdominal muscles. Engaging in leg work allows you to work out the muscles in the inner thigh, which are not involved in daily activity, and therefore often sag.
The movement is aimed at strengthening the muscles of the press, it develops movement coordination well. You need to perform the task very focused, otherwise, you will often fall to one side or twist with incomplete amplitude. The video shows a simplified version when you keep your legs on weight and just pull up the body. If you want to complicate the execution, lower your legs as you return your body to the floor. Then raise the body and legs again.
Back rolls (bear pose)
The movement is more like a yoga exercise, however, it not only stretches the spine and allows it to relax, but also strengthens the abdominal muscles. To do this, you need to choose a good rug that will not be too soft (otherwise the recovery effect will disappear) or hard (there is a possibility of injury).
Lying Leg Raises
A classic exercise for working out the muscles of the lower abdomen. There are simplified and complicated execution options: for relief, you can reduce the range of motion or place your palms under the buttocks. To complicate things, you can raise and lower your legs alternately – this will mix the load axis and engage the lateral muscles of the body.
“Swimming” on the floor
The exercise is similar to “Superman” in both technique and purpose. It serves for a comprehensive study of the back muscles, but here the left and right halves of the body are loaded alternately, which allows you to create a greater load. When doing it, pay special attention to your breathing, do not let it go astray.
Lifts of the pelvis on the side
A variation of the lateral dynamic plank is needed to improve the shape and appearance of the gluteus muscles, it will also help to narrow the waist and make the obliques more visible.
Abduction of limbs on all fours
The movement is often used in exercise and warm-up complexes, general physical training or LFP training. Thanks to it, you can strengthen the buttocks, the back muscles of the thighs, the muscles of the back and shoulders.
- Weight loss effectiveness. If you exercise regularly and for a long time, you will achieve weight loss, but you do not need to rely on the “wow effect”.
- What is required for training. In the beginning, you only need a floor, a rug, comfortable clothes and a lot of desire. For the advanced level, the use of resistance bands, belts, and weights is allowed.
- Training video. At first, do not try to repeat the movements exactly. Keep track of technique, stretch and coordination, and eventually you will be able to record your own Pilates instructional videos.
Beginners should pay attention to the detailed and simple video complexes below.
Basic set of movements