Selecting Pilates Exercise

By Patricia | February 3, 2009
Pilates Exercises & Their Benefits

How Do I Know Which Pilates Workout Is Right For Me

Your trainer will select the exercises that are suitable for you. It is also advisable to learn Pilates from a qualified instructor, before attempting them yourself. To understand, which exercises are right for you, you need to learn about Pilates and know what this exercise is all about.

Pilates is a set of over hundred exercises, which are specifically formulated to exercise and strengthen the body’s core muscles, particularly in the back and abdomen. Joseph Pilates spent twenty years, designing them in the early twentieth century, using facets from Yoga and certain ancient Greek exercises.

These exercises work simultaneously on the body and mind. They result in increased body strength and lung capacity, improved blood circulation, better balance, posture and flexibility, toned muscles, reduced stress levels and improved mental focus.

Pilates are performed in a particular sequence, either on a mat (quite similar to a yoga mat) or on a special machine called a ‘reformer’. The mat exercises can be done while lying down on your stomach, side or back; while some are done in a sitting or kneeling position. In these exercises you use the weight of your own body to create a natural resistance.  The ‘reformer’, which comes with ropes and pulleys, uses a spring-loaded machinery for added resistance.

Pilates are recommended for almost anyone and everyone. Pregnant women, senior citizens, children (over 12), obese people, those with injury related problems, busy people with very little time on hand – have all found Pilates to be an effective exercise regimen. However, make sure to visit a certified Pilate instructor who will tailor the exercises to suit your requirement.

For those with certain injuries, there is the Pilate Method of Body Conditioning. These specially modified physical therapy programs and rehabilitative exercises are specifically designed to hasten the healing of injuries to soft tissues.

Pilates are also great for pregnant mothers, with their pre-natal mat exercises, or the special ‘reformer, with a back support system. Senior citizens too need not worry. Joseph Pilate himself continued with his exercises till the age of 83. It is an ideal exercise regimen to strengthen muscle tone and balance, both of which suffer in geriatric cases.

Pilates can be equally good for children and they can avail of the special reformers, which can be modified for the use of adults as well as children. They can also have fun with the Stability Balls, which come in many sizes, and hence can be enjoyed by kids and even those over six feet tall.
Pilate low impact exercises work remarkably well for obese people. The first aim is to increase endurance and strength, followed by more vigorous exercises.

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