Pilates: Is Pilates for you?
Pilates: Is Pilates for you?If you want to tone up, strengthen your core and look so hot in your underwear you wish you could date yourself, then Pilates is the answer. But be warned - it's not for the faint of heart.
Pilates is by far one of the most popular ways to get in shape - if you're a yoga addict already then the chances are that you've already fooled around with it's sister sport, Pilates which is a holistic fitness system that promotes strong core muscles, improved posture and strength.
Pilates is based on an anatomical understanding of the skeletal and muscular systems to strengthen the two together, and best of all it is the kind of exercise regime that anyone, no matter what their ability, can get involved in. Many people first get introduced to Pilates after a back injury as physiotherapists regularly recommend it as a rehabilitation programme.
Rosa Whitehead Owner of PilatesPlusWellness Ltd says: "I took up Pilates after having a back injury and It really helped my recovery.
"I was amazed at the transformation in my shape, movement and sense of well being I got from doing Pilates daily. I now teach every day and it has totally changed my life helping others like myself see transformation and better movement and also helping others recover from injuries."
Pilates trainer Rebecca Burton at West 1 Physio has over 16 years experience and says: "Pilates works the whole body, particularly concentrating on core stability.
"It complements any other sport, as it helps to rebalance the body - strengthening weaker muscles, and lengthening stronger bulkier ones. Many athletes and dancers use it to improve their technique."
What areas of the body does it work?
As Anne-Marie Thomas from The Pilates Foundation points out, there's more to Pilates than developing "strong abs" or "core strength." Pilates is a holistic exercise system, which works the whole of the body, improves overall fitness and retrains dysfunctional movement patterns.
What is the best way to get started in Pilates?
"Private sessions are always the best way to get started so that your teacher can assess your overall fitness level and ability, ascertain any underlying postural and/or movement issues you may have, and tailor your sessions appropriately so that you get the most from your session.
"This also ensures that you develop an understanding of Pilates principles. However if private sessions are not practical for you it is also possible to join a group class at the relevant beginner level. For best results, seek a fully trained teacher who can adapt the method to suit your personal needs."
What kind of results can you expect from Pilates?
Pilates is a mind and body system, you will therefore see gradual positive mental and physical results with continued practice. You may find you have a calmer mind, able to concentrate and focus with greater clarity.
How difficult is Pilates?
Pilates is suitable for people of all ages and levels of fitness. Its level of difficulty will vary greatly depending on your level of fitness.
It is a gentle, low impact form of exercise and so is a great way of raising your activity levels if you don’t exercise much or have poor mobility.
As you progress to more advanced levels of Pilates the exercises become more challenging and complex.
Health and Fitness Editor
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