Pilates for Beginners | Total Full Body Workout for a Healthy Lifestyle
Pilates for Beginners
Pilates is a total body workout that focuses on balance, posture, strength and flexibility. It’s suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.
Pilates focuses on improving muscle-strength, flexibility and posture. More research is needed, but there is also some evidence to suggest that Pilates can be helpful for lower back pain too.
Is there a difference between Pilates and Yoga?
In short, yes.
While there are quite a few similarities between the two, Pilates focuses more on the ‘physical’ whereas yoga focuses more on the ‘spiritual.’
Pilates will help you tone, strengthen and stabilise your muscles, especially the core. Whilst Yoga allows you to achieve and maintain balance between your mind, body and spirit.
The Benefits of Pilates
Well the great thing is Pilates Is for Everyone!
Pilates can be done by anyone – man, woman, young or old. No matter your age or physical ability, you can do Pilates. There are thousands of possible exercises and modifications, and you can get into Pilates for beginners at home so it can be adapted to fit an individual’s needs – from the absolute beginner to the seasoned athlete.
Pilates Works Your Core
One of the key components of Pilates is the emphasis on core strength. The core is the “powerhouse” of the body.
Pilates strengthens and conditions the core while simultaneously working your arms and legs. The exercises focus on movements and positions that not only activate your core but also rely on your extremities (arms and legs) for control.
Pilates Is Good for Your Posture
One of the main components of Pilates is the connection between mind and body and the overall awareness of how your body moves. As a result, you become more aware of the placement of your spine and pelvis, especially during your Pilates routine.
Pilates Increases Energy
Like Yoga, Pilates teaches you how to focus on the correct way to breathe. You’ll breathe more deeply, providing your body with more oxygen and thus increasing your energy levels. Once you finish your Pilates routine, you’ll find yourself feeling more energised, de-stressed, peaceful and relaxed.
Pilates Improves the Mind/Body Connection
Pilates workouts are designed to improve your balance and coordination by teaching a stronger connection between the mind and the body. Pilates movements are done with control and focus to help you become more aware of your alignment.
Pilates Improves Balance and Co-ordination
Because of its strong focus on the core, Pilates helps to improve your overall balance by stabilising your core.
Practicing Pilates At Home
Advice for Beginners
One of the great things about Pilates is that it can be practiced every single day. Even a beginner can jump into a daily practice. The beauty of Pilates is that in using your entire body, you have many directions and options with over 500 exercises in the repertoire to choose from.
How Much Space Will I Need?
When setting up your space, be sure to have enough room to stretch your entire body out on the ground and reach arms and legs out from your centre in all directions.
A quiet space is also ideal. If you plan to stream some of the great Pilates videos from YouTube, you’ll want to choose a room where that is possible.
Do I Need Any Special Equipment?
The simple answer is no!
Practicing Pilates at home requires no more than a flat surface and a mat or even just a rug. Small props including balls, magic rings, head support, and resistance bands may be added to the mix but are not necessary to begin.
Is it better to do Pilates in the morning or afternoon?
Many people like to schedule their Pilates practice for first thing in the morning. This allows them to make sure nothing gets in the way, and it sets them up to be ready to use their body all day long. Others like to end their day with Pilates. This is a great way to wind down from the outside world and undo all the stresses of your day.
The bottom line is that the right time to do Pilates is the time that works best for you.
How Do I Learn the Moves?
There are so many great books and videos available to assist you in your home Pilates practice. Choose teachers and visuals that feel easy for you to follow.
A good tip is to watch a class at least once before taking it, allowing you to get a handle on the pace, some of the exercises, and language.
Listen to Your Body
Pilates shouldn’t be painful for beginners, so don’t be afraid to deviate slightly from the exercises if you need to.
Bent knees versus straight legs, head and neck support, not lifting your head initially, and even going slower than instructed if following a video are all fine.
The number one thing is not to get hurt. Listen to your body and if something feels wrong to you or too much for you on any given day, modify or skip that exercise
Remember This Is All About You
Practicing Pilates from home offers some huge benefits including cost, availability, and time management.
You can fit your Pilates workout in around your schedule and need only 45-60 minutes instead of time to and from class in a gym or studio plus the hour-long class. You can also go at your own pace and repeat exercises that you want to get better at, or that merely feel like what your body needs that day.
Try to set aside some time at least three times a week as scheduling your Pilates time will ensure other things in life don’t keep you from exercising
Don’t get distracted with other noise in the room.
If you can close the door to the rest of your household, to do it.
This is your time.
Allow yourself to focus on just that one hour. Stream videos take notes if you like and create your own routine. And don’t get frustrated. Enjoy the time and notice every bit of progress.
- Pilates is a mind, body, and spirit practice that incorporates stability and mobility work primarily focused on using core (abdominal, back, and bum) muscles.
- Those new to Pilates can begin with a home practice.
- Pilates videos and books are widely available.
- A home practice is safe for anyone free of injury or chronic back pain.
- Beginners may also benefit from taking introductory Mat or Reformer Pilates classes with a trained Pilates teacher.
- Even those taking Pilates classes outside the home will benefit significantly from doing Pilates at home; in fact, many Pilates teachers encourage homework between classes.
If a lean, toned body without any excess bulk is what you’re after, then Pilates is the workout for you. Pair your Pilates routine with weekly sessions of cardio workouts and you’ll find yourself with the lean, toned, strong body you’re after – and with great abs to boot!
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your mat and try some Pilates exercises as part of your at-home full body workout routine – you won’t regret it!
If you’re new to Pilates or are a seasoned exerciser, don’t forget to let us know how you’re getting on in the comments section.
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