Pilates for beginners: Explore the core

Pilates is an effective and fun way to build strength in your core muscles for better posture, balance and flexibility. Its named after its creator, Joseph Pilates, who developed the exercise method in the 1920s.

If you’re thinking of trying a Pilates class for the first time, here’s what you need to know:

What exactly is Pilates?

Pilates is a method of exercise that consists of low-impact flexibility, muscular strength and endurance movements. It emphasizes your core — the abdomen, obliques, lower back, inner and outer thigh, bottom, and so on. For this reason, Pilates develops much of what exercisers need — strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, coordination, balance, and good posture — and all with a much lower chance of injury than with other forms of exercise.

Pilates requires you to engage virtually your whole body. At times, you may be strengthening one muscle while stretching another. This take lots of concentration; you can’t go through the motions like you can on gym equipment. And then, for every move you think you’ve mastered, Pilates has another version that’s a little different and a little harder.

One thing’s for sure – you’ll have a hard time getting bored with Pilates.

Can anyone do Pilates?

It’s a common misconception that Pilates is only for serious athletes or professional dancers. While these groups were among the first to adopt Pilates, they aren’t the only ones who can benefit from this approach to strength training. The exercises can be modified to suit all ages and abilities, however, if you’re suffering from any health problems, or are pregnant, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before hopping on a Reformer.

Another common misperception is that Pilates requires specialist equipment. Maybe you’ve seen a Pilates Reformer – that looks like a bed frame with a sliding carriage and adjustable springs, or perhaps you’ve seen a type of trapeze table. But, don’t let those machines intimidate you. Pilates can also be done on the floor with just a mat.

What are the benefits?

By practicing Pilates regularly, you’ll see a number of health benefits, including:

  • Improved core strength and stability
  • Improved posture and balance
  • Improved flexibility
  • Improved physical coordination and balance
  • Safe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries
  • Increased body awareness
  • Stress management and relaxation

I may be biased, but I can’t recommend Pilates highly enough, both for your physical and mental health. So, what are you waiting for? Call Pilatesbodyshape to book a trial class on 07947 822 911 or 020 8579 7879.

 

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