The story of this training system begins with the story of a boy who grew from a child suffering from asthma, rickets and rheumatism to a young man of ideal proportions, and at the age of 14 , he was already posing for artists. The boy was named Joseph Pilates and the training system he created is named after him. He helped restore health, first to himself, then to millions of other people. Today, Pilates, despite almost a century of history, remains a popular and beneficial type of exercise.
The philosophical basis of Pilates
Before Joseph Pilates invented his unique system, he was active in yoga, gymnastics and martial arts. But at the center of his aspirations was an idea he learned from his mother: the human body has its own resources for healing itself from disease. These occur due to an imbalance between body and mind. Restoring balance and controlling your body with your mind is the most important goal of exercise. This is why Pilates himself called this system controlology.
What are Pilates exercises?
Pilates classes consist of a series of exercises that take place in a certain order. Movements are performed smoothly, smoothly. Muscle work is done with extreme concentration and deep breathing. In Pilates you work both with your own weight and with the help of special equipment.
Pilates does not have a strong effect on fat burning – only 250-300 kcal are spent during training. Also, if you want to have tangible muscles, Pilates must be supplemented with strength training. If that doesn’t lead to weight loss and muscle building, then what good is Pilates?
Benefits of Pilates
The effect of regular Pilates training is definitely there: a lean and flexible body with excellent coordination and no very pronounced muscles. Pilates tightens and flattens the stomach, straightens posture and relieves back pain, lowers the shoulders and lengthens the neck.
Here are some of its benefits:
- Due to the constant tension and retraction of the abdomen, the deep muscles are worked, which makes the stomach flat and attractive.
- Increased joint flexibility and mobility.
- The spine is aligned, posture improves and back pain disappears.
- Exercise helps to speed up the metabolism, which allows you to burn calories every day.
- Deep breathing in Pilates improves the functioning of the cardiovascular system, increases lung capacity and blood circulation.
- Stress and tension are gone.
- The condition of the internal organs improves and there is an improvement in all body systems.
Basics and Principles of Pilates
Before you start doing the exercises, you need to familiarize yourself with some important concepts that any experienced trainer will tell you about. They are the basis of Pilates.
The center of Pilates is the source of energy for the exercise. In practice, the rectus and transverse abdominis muscles are considered the core. Therefore, all exercises are performed with a tight stomach, an upright posture and the navel stretched in the direction of the spine.
Good breathing is the most important condition for the effectiveness of Pilates. During exercise, the lower part of the lungs should be filled by expanding the diaphragm. Such deep costal breathing allows you to saturate the body with oxygen.
The position of the body should be symmetrical with respect to the vertical axis – the spine. In addition, the load should be the same for both sides of the body.
During exercise, the mind should be focused on the muscle being worked on.
During classes, it is necessary to constantly monitor the accuracy of movements, as well as the position of the spine and posture. Initially, the control function is carried out by a qualified trainer.
The essential difference between Pilates and other types of exercises is the relaxation of the muscles that are not involved in the exercise. This prevents muscle overstrain and imbalance, a hallmark of almost all types of training, when strong muscles get stronger and weak muscles get weaker.
What is the difference between Pilates and yoga?
The spiritual component brings Pilates closer to yoga, in which the harmonization of mind and body prevails. Attention to the breath and its in-depth study also bring Pilates and yoga closer together. However, there are more differences between them than similarities. Yoga is based on a static load in the form of asanas, and Pilates, on the contrary, involves movements.