Everyone knows that despite its popularity, Pilates is not a sport. But, most people would be surprised to learn that there are actual benefits to getting into shape through a form of exercise with roots in classical antiquity. If you’re looking to explore your fitness options outside of the typical conveniences of staying at home, watching Netflix, and eating ice cream, then consider trying out what is pilates exercise. It’s an inexpensive and effective way to burn calories and strengthen your body—and it doesn’t involve going outside in the elements or spending hours at the gym.
In this article, we’ll discuss what is pilates exercise and its benefits.
1. What is Pilates Exercise?
Pilates is a form of body conditioning that emphasizes core muscle activation and complex movement. The discipline is based on isometric muscle tension, which requires the practitioner to remain in a state of strict, conscious muscle balance. It was developed in the 1920s as a workout for professional dancers by German master Johannes Brahms and is one of the most popular forms of fitness today. It was originally intended as an exercise for professional dancers but has become a mass movement. In fact, there are over 50 million certified Pilates instructors in the world.
2. How Does Pilates Work?
The foundation of the Pilates system is the “Do,” which is a set of three workouts lasting between 30 and 45 minutes. These workouts are designed to develop balance, coordination, and flexibility. The “Go,” “esi,” and “dos” are the movements that make up each workout. The “dos” is a combination of Shoulder and Lower body movements including the Squat, Lunge, hip extension, and Weighted recall. The “si” and “es” are the workouts that focus on core strengthening and muscle balance.
The “esi” is a complex movement that exercises the whole body while the “sis” is a more targeted movement that improves strength and muscle balance. These are amazing things about what is pilates exercise and how it works.
3. Benefits of Pilates Exercise
- Boned and shredded bodies: The core exercises in Pilates target the thighs, calves, and buttocks, which can help strengthen the legs and calves and make them appear more muscular. The abs are another benefit of Pilates, as they can be developed by practicing the famous “Hatha yoga” movements.
- Weight loss: One of the biggest benefits of Pilates is weight loss. The core exercises in the discipline target the same areas that regulate your body weight, and they work your abs, obliques, and lower back together. These areas of your body connect through the hips, which are often the first to lose weight when we stop eating certain foods.
- Cardiovascular fitness: Cardiovascular fitness is another key benefit of Pilates. It can help you “tune” your body’s temperature, which can help with hot flashes and night sweats.
- Flexibility: Pilates can help you increase your flexibility, which can help with everything from achiness in your joints to tightness in your muscles.
- Improved mental health: The exercises in Pilates help you relax, which can improve your mental health. It also boosts your mood, which can make you feel more alert, focused, and energetic.
4. Start with Pilates
If you’ve been interested in getting into shape, but have been put off by the idea of going to class or hiring a personal trainer, consider trying a class at a studio near you. There are many options when it comes to where to find a studio. Peer-to-peer studios are the easiest because they’re usually run by students or recent graduates. You can also check listings online. Some of the best studios are listed on PushingStarted. Read all these tips about what is pilates exercise and how to get started with it.
5. The Importance of a Good Mat
Even if you’re an advanced student in Pilates, you’ll likely find it difficult to find a quality mat. Good quality is crucial to the practice because a quality mat provides the foundation for which all other physical conditioning techniques are built. If you’re new to Pilates, you may find that a foam mat is too hot, a hard floor is more comfortable, or that you don’t have the space for a mat.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, a yoga mat is often a good option, as it has fewer layers and is often cheaper than the best-quality mats. If you have any concerns about the quality of a yoga mat, you can purchase a higher-end mat after you’ve begun training and have built up a sweat on it.
6. What to Expect from a Pilates Class?
You’ll likely spend the most time on the “dos” movement because that’s what you use when you’re in Pilates class. Your instructor will likely use this movement as your warmup, while you do basic stretches and exercises to prepare yourself for the workout. Most studios have some type of “pilates class” that’s specifically designed for new students. This class is usually 30-45 minutes long, and it’ll teach you the movements you’ll use throughout your practice.
Some classes will be led by experienced practitioners, some by certified fitness instructors, and some by certified yoga instructors. All will use a variety of classes to lead you through the basics of the discipline. If you’re looking for an efficient way to burn calories, practice core muscles, and strengthen your body, then a class at a studio is a great way to go.
Regardless of your fitness level or goal, there are a few key aspects to consider when getting into shape. One of the most important is finding a good, structured workout. Whether you choose to go to a studio or do workouts at home, you’ll benefit from consistent exercise. Right now, you can understand what is pilates exercise and its benefits. It’s important to remember that even though Pilates is a really easy form of exercise, it’s not something you can just pick up and do. You’ve got to have the right motivation and be willing to put in the time.