In the 1920s, American trainer Joseph Pilates developed a unique set of rehabilitation exercises for athletes. Since then, the direction of the same name has quickly spread, which has found a second life in fitness. Pilates training is not just a rehabilitation program now. This is a popular form of fitness that helps transform the body with your own hands. Gymnastics develops different muscle groups, can be performed with your own weight or on simulators.
The exercises make the body slimmer, improve posture, harmoniously develop muscles, balance and coordination. It is more than just a set of physical exercises performed in a given sequence. Pilates in fitness is a philosophy of health, beauty and creativity, the unity of body and mind.
History of creation
The founder of the technique was born in a poor family, in childhood he was often ill, suffered from asthma and rickets, suffered ridicule of his peers due to poor health. In response to the tests, Joseph went in for sports, and after a couple of years he turned into an athlete with a strong strong physique and relief muscles. Even then, he was thinking about a training system in order to achieve the perfect balance of flexibility and strength.
As a result of the experience of playing sports and working as an instructor, a technique was born that can transform a person in a short time, so that at any age you feel flexible and healthy. The author himself spoke about the effectiveness of the program like this: “After ten workouts you will feel the difference, after twenty you will see it, and after thirty you will have a completely new body.” Exercising according to his own plan, Joseph Pilates had a beautiful, physically developed body all his life. He lived a long and healthy life in spite of everything. The example of the supporters of his system shows that the method really works and brings results.
Pilates training basics
- Powerful centering is the foundation of every exercise. While contracting your abdominal muscles, pull your navel towards your straightened spine. This muscle tension must be maintained throughout the workout.
- Chest breathing with inhalation through the nose and exhalation through the mouth. This must be constantly monitored. Synchronize the contraction of the muscles with the exhalation and slow your breathing while performing smooth movements.
- During the lesson, a stretch in the spine should be felt.
- Maximum concentration on every movement, correct execution.
- Accuracy and symmetry – the position of the body should have been completely even, without incorrect inclinations, attention should be paid to the location of the shoulder blades and shoulders.
- Awareness of every movement, no distractions, total immersion.
These six principles must be followed at all times, wherever you exercise – with a group in a fitness center or on your own at home. In this case, the result will not be long in coming. When performing exercises, you need to continuously monitor the breathing and tension of the press. This will give you the most out of your workouts.
Pilates for fitness focuses on proportional body development by targeting different muscle groups. As a result, it is possible to get rid of muscle imbalance and reduce the likelihood of injury.
The benefits of this type of fitness are indicated by the benefits that distinguish it from other training methods.
Benefits of Pilates for the body and shape:
- makes the muscles of the press and back elastic, works out the deep muscles – the stomach looks flat;
- stabilizes the spine, eliminates curvatures, pain in the back and lower back;
- forms a slender dense body without pumped muscles;
- the figure becomes taut, posture – even, the internal organs are in the correct position;
- there is a physiological increase in muscle length due to safe stretching, expansion of the range of motion;
- the indisputable use of Pilates for improving body proportions, it purposefully tones and tightens muscles in problem areas – in the hips and abdomen;
- improves respiratory function, expands lung capacity, deep breathing eliminates chronic fatigue, depressed mood and insomnia;
- increases the flexibility of the joints, increases the amplitude, gives confidence to movements;
- normalizes blood pressure and blood circulation, improves heart condition;
- helps to achieve balance and a sense of coordination;
- lengthens and strengthens muscles, increases muscle strength, gives elasticity and mobility to joints.
Regular exercises teach you to control movements, intuitively control the body. Pilates is safer than other areas of fitness, it is used as therapy in rehabilitation programs.
According to the creator of the technique, J. Pilates, the exercise system restores the balance of spirit and mind, relieves stress and negative emotions. After completing the complex, you tune the body to work properly and get energized.
Pilates is a salvation for those with back problems. Pain and stiffness in the cervical spine disappear after 2-3 weeks of training, the back and lower back feel great in a month or two. The body is transformed after three months of regular training.
The new direction of fitness is suitable for everyone, regardless of age and physical fitness, it is used in training by professional athletes and dancers to strengthen the main muscle groups, prevent muscle imbalance and injuries.
Indications for classes
- recommended for those who are not suitable for shock loads;
- you can deal with vascular diseases and any condition of the joints;
- the need to strengthen muscles, improve a sense of balance and balance;
- the need to develop flexibility;
- recovery from injuries, increased stress;
- stress, insomnia, anxiety;
- back and lower back pain.
The Joseph Pilates training system is addressed to those who want to strengthen and strengthen the muscle corset, align the spine, and improve posture. Exercising at least 1-2 times a week helps you look and feel great without intense sports activities.
Is it realistic to lose weight in Pilates workouts?
It is not possible to achieve quick weight loss results with pilates alone. If you need to get rid of excess weight quickly, it is better to pay attention to active aerobic directions.
But in the long term, regularly doing this type of fitness, you can count on the fact that the weight will gradually return to normal, and the body volume will decrease. Moreover, this happens very aesthetically – soft stretching loads change the muscle structure itself, long muscles visually give harmony, become not pumped, but dense, strong and embossed. The spine is straightened, and a strong muscle corset even allows you to increase your height by 2-3 centimeters. The body looks toned and attractive, its contours are defined in the waist and hips.
In an hour of training, about 300 kcal are burned, so rapid weight loss will not occur, pilates is not the most effective method for burning fat. To lose weight, you will have to limit calories, adhere to the rules of a healthy diet, but without fasting.
Cons and contraindications
Stopping at this area of fitness, it will not be possible to significantly increase endurance and strength, but it is quite possible to improve health and build a beautiful body. The pilates exercises are simple, but it is important to be mindful of nuances such as breathing, symmetry, centering. Correct technique requires utmost concentration and attention. Exercising and watching TV at the same time is unlikely to work.
It is better to start classes under the supervision of an instructor, and having gained experience, go on to independent training. To improve endurance or strength indicators, targeted work on specific muscle groups, it is advisable to combine pilates with other types of training. This area is perfectly complemented by aerobic and strength fitness.
Pilates refers to gentle workouts without shock loads, it does not overload the heart, blood vessels and the locomotor system. However, it is sometimes worth checking with your doctor first. These situations include:
- recently transferred operations;
- age over 50;
- chronic diseases in the acute stage;
- heart disease, hypertension;
- fresh injuries, acute viral diseases;
- infectious, inflammatory processes;
- exacerbation of disorders of the locomotor system;
- significant excess weight;
- gynecological disorders.
Tips for beginners
The main mistake of beginners is forcing loads, choosing difficult exercises, training too often. Starting to practice, it is advisable to first choose simple exercises. Enough two or three workouts for 30-40 minutes, until slight fatigue appears. Warm-up in Pilates workouts differs from the traditional one – it is proposed to just stand for 5 minutes, calm down, and tune in internally. The only condition is to stand with correct posture.
Exercises are performed at a measured pace, excluding sudden jerks, following the breath and pulse. The first skill to be mastered is to find a balance of movement, breathing and concentration. Correctness is more important than the number of repetitions. Beginners, like experienced athletes, need to be mindful of their training. To master the correct technique, it is advisable to conduct a series of sessions under the guidance of an experienced Pilates fitness instructor in order to “put the technique”. Exercises are performed for 5-12 repetitions at a slow, controlled pace, in sync with breathing. The optimal training frequency is every other day, at any time of the day, but not immediately after meals.
Activities during pregnancy
If the pregnancy is proceeding normally, the program is chosen depending on the trimester. There are simplified versions of Pilates specially designed for each period of pregnancy. They have a good effect on the body, help prepare for childbirth, reduce back pain, and help maintain a figure. Correct breathing, strong elastic muscles facilitate easy childbirth, therefore, light versions of pilates are included in special programs. After the baby is born, you can start training again after 8-12 weeks.
Be careful: general format group video sessions are contraindicated for pregnant women. These include exercises with movements that create pressure from the abdominal wall on the fetus, this should not be allowed.
Differences from other areas of fitness
From the point of view of the unity of body and mind, training is similar to yoga, but pilates appeared much later, and it is dominated by dynamic elements. If yoga is more focused on static, then Pilates is on movement. In terms of technical saturation, it is simpler than yoga, does not provide for complex poses.
Some similarities can be traced to stretching (stretching), another popular fitness area. Pilates is aimed at achieving flexibility, strengthening stabilizing muscles, straightening the spine. Stretching has specific goals – joint mobility and stretching.
Callanetics, or fitness ballet with elements of yoga and breathing exercises, is aimed at burning fat, trains the muscles of the back and abdomen well. But in callanetics, the poses are more difficult and the pace is slower.
Sportswear for training
The main principle when choosing clothes for Pilates is comfort and naturalness. It is advisable to choose tight-fitting elastic clothing that does not hinder movement. The material should remove moisture well, allow air to pass through, maintaining normal air exchange. Too large sweat pants and T-shirts will detract from the proper technique and prevent natural exercise. There are no requirements for shoes. It should be comfortable, the sole can be thick or thin, it doesn’t matter. There are no strong shock loads, no jumping in Pilates fitness, you can even train barefoot on the mat.
Regular training allows you to experience the pilates effect very quickly. This is a state when the body straightens, becomes flexible, and obedient, you feel higher. The changes are hard not to notice – the abdominal muscles are tightened, the shoulders are lowered, the neck is lengthened, and the posture is corrected. The spine is stretched, the abdomen becomes taut, the body is obedient and light.