There are so many workout programs in the market today. How do you know which one to choose to get the results you want? Let me tell you about one that has stood the test of time.
It is one of the most popular fitness programs around and for good reason. This technique was developed in the early 1900s by Joseph H. Pilates to rehabilitate soldiers who suffered war injuries.
What Exactly is Pilates?
Pilates has little to do with aerobics; it is a combination of flexibility and strength training which focuses on strengthening the core.
While Pilates exercises are often performed on a thicker version of a Yoga mat, it is not a derivative of yoga.
For starters, Pilates is a lot more dynamic and doesn’t involve as much stretching and holding static poses as yoga does. It is more structured and involves more equipment including a footbar, a carriage, straps and springs. And there is absolutely no chanting involved!
Can Men Do Pilates?
Pilates may be more popular with women but there’s nothing about it that makes it more suitable for women than men. In fact, it was developed by a man for other men!
The best thing about it is that it can be adapted to different fitness levels and body types. It’s great for building muscle groups that might not always get enough attention, as well as for core strength. The flexibility training also helps to prevent muscle strains and injuries during other workouts.
Pilates Classes Vs. Pilates at Home
Many people worry they’re not coordinated enough, or are too self-conscious, for a Pilates class. Thankfully, other people in the class are usually too focused on breathing and maintaining balance to notice anyone else.
If you want to get the full benefit of Pilates, go to a studio that has all the necessary equipment. You might not be as coordinated as you’d like the first few times but your flexibility and coordination will improve quickly.
If going to a gym makes you nervous, start at home to get a feel for it before signing up for a class. There are many free videos of basic Pilates exercises on the Internet.
Find a Class
Pilates classes are cheaper if you have a regular gym membership. Without one, they can cost more than $100 a pop! But don’t let that discourage you. Groupon has more than enough Pilates classes that cost way less than $100.
What to Wear
You don’t really need a special outfit for Pilates. Any comfortable exercise clothes should do. However, it’s best to avoid very loose clothing since it might bunch up during certain exercises.
Pilates is a great way to strengthen your core and tone your body without lifting weights and bulking up. However, despite all its benefits, it isn’t for everybody. If you have back problems, check with your doctor before attempting Pilates.