How to Get the Most Out Of Your Pilates Workout

Pilates is a low-impact full body exercise that strengthens muscles while improving flexibility and alignment. The workout is usually 45 minutes long although some classes take an hour. It’s a series of precise movement that target the core, trunk and other areas of the body.

Benefits of Pilates

Joseph Pilates, the man who developed Pilates, did not believe in doing mindless repetitions. He said, “a few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion.” He coined his work “Contrology” and it emphasized on the importance of getting the maximum power, strength, stretch and control from every movement.

Pilates stabilizes the core and this in turn enables you to move efficiently while improving mobility, flexibility and posture at the same time.

A 2018 study published in the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation it was found that the 90 participants who practiced Pilates for at least one hour 3x a week for eight weeks had a marked improvement on their functional movement screen more than those who did yoga. They were found to have better balance, mobility and stability.

Aside from this, Pilates also builds endurance. Doing an hour of Pilates 2x a week for 12 weeks will result in improved abdominal endurance, upper body muscular endurance and hamstring flexibility.

Finally, Pilates, like most exercises can benefit one’s mental health. It has been found to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and fatigue.

If you want to make the most out of your Pilates workout, keep these tips in mind:

  • Take control in the return phase as you do in the effort phase. Most people do get the effort phase right, but the return phase not so much. If you could put as much control in the return phase as you do in the effort phase we will double our results.
  • If you are using equipment resist the springs.
  • Maintain the same pace on your return as your effort phase.
  • Do not rest between reps or phases. You should maintain the same level of tension through your body as you move from one phase to the next. That’s because when you take a little rest you miss the chance to build up your strength. If you find it difficult to focus, use two breath cycles.
  • When you do an exercise think of it as a whole body exercise and not merely to target one muscle group.
  • Get some feedback from your trainer or instructor. Most gyms like Curves will have a Pilates instructor to help you out.

Other Things to Know

Pilates can be intimidating for those who’ve never tried it. Some see it as an advanced level yoga. But the truth is, anyone can do it, you just need to know your fitness level so you can determine whether to start with basic exercises or go straight to doing advanced moves. We do highly recommend joining a class so an instructor can monitor you and prevent any injury.

In any case, if you plan on doing Pilates at home, you can still enroll in an online class or even just start watching Youtube videos for free. You’ll need a mat to get started.

If you want to strengthen your pelvis and abs and at the same time maintain good posture, then Pilates would be great for you. It can strengthen and tone your muscles, particularly your core with precise moves and breathing techniques. Start slow but keep progressing.

Pilates Workout YouTube

Category: Featured