Category Archives: pilates

Essential Equipment For Beginner’s Pilates

For those who wish to exercise in the privacy of their own home, but do not want to have to buy expensive equipment, a wonderful way to reduce stress and tone muscles at the same time is to purchase a few Pilates essentials to get you to practice Pilates successfully!

As a beginner, the Pilates exercise equipment you will need is just some loose fitting clothes, which are as comfortable as possible in order to allow you to move easily. Another essential item is the Pilates mat and that’s all you need to get started.  As you progress to more advanced moves, this article will cover some equipment that should be helpful for you to proceed.

1) The Significance of a Pilates Mat

Most Pilates exercise involves mat work which can be considered to be the basis of Pilates exercises. The best Pilates mat should be thick and durable which can be used in gyms, homes or studios. Most of the Pilates mats are created for protecting and cushioning the spine throughout the mat work regimes.

A Pilates mat can be purchased for a relatively inexpensive price, and for the most part all gyms and fitness centers will have a Pilates mat. There are many companies that sell these mats. If you are interested in purchasing one you can do a search at any search engine.

Pilates mats can come in a variety of styles. For you to get the best ones, you need to check out their sizes, thicknesses, densities, colors, textures and materials used to get total satisfaction. You will find that typical prices for a Pilates mat ranges from US$25 to US$45. In the event you need to transport the Pilates mat to different places buy one that has attached handles and which can be folded.

2) A Pilates ring which is mostly used for Windsor Pilates

The Pilates ring is a stretchable rubber circle that is about 14 inches in diameter on the average. It can come in smaller or larger diameters, depending on what muscles are to be strengthened.

The Pilates ring was invented to sculpt core muscles. Core muscles consist of the abdominal muscles, the pelvic muscles, and the buttocks muscles. The Pilates ring is a safe way to sculpt these core muscles, which is to tighten them through endurance stretching.

In addition the Pilates ring can tone not just the core muscles but other hard-to-tone muscles in the legs. Such an exercise in which leg muscles are tightened is when one lies down on a mat and places the Pilates ring around their ankles and, lifts their legs up and down slowly in order to feel the resistance.

Pilates rings can also help to tone the arm muscles. An exercise that tightens the arms is one in which, in a standing position, the arms are raised straight over the head with the Pilates ring around the wrists and the arms slightly widened.

A participant should use the Pilates ring safely by not trying to strain the muscles too hard, which can lead to injury. These rings come in different resistance types, so it is best to start at the lowest resistance level and build up steadily.

The cost of these rings depends on the size, resistance, and manufacturer.

3) A rubber ball for the abdominal and buttocks exercises

The Pilates ball is important mainly because it is a piece of equipment which is used in so many of the Pilates routines. It helps with many different factors such as helping you gain better balance and to increase the intensity of your workout overall, both which are incredibly important to most people.

If you wish to purchase the Pilates ball, you should be able to find a selection of these balls at any store near to you that sells other forms of the Pilates equipment.

As with other Pilates equipment, if you can’t find it easily then it is a good idea to go into your local gym and ask a professional where you should go. Alternately you can seek help from the internet for all your Pilates essentials.

All the Pilates equipment  is used to add strength and value to your exercises, but you can also perform all the exercises without this equipment and still achieve the desired results although not as fast as you would with the given equipment.

Top Six Benefits of Pilates Exercises

Pilates is the exercise of choice for dancers, gymnasts, and a host of famous Hollywood celebrities, and now it finds itself firmly entrenched in the mainstream.  So… why is Pilates so hot?

Pilates incredible popularity can be traced to the fact that it provides its faithful practitioners with benefits that you simply can’t get through the traditional aerobics/strength training format.

1. Gives You Long, Lean Muscles

If want a long, lean look without bulky muscles, but with all the strength. Would you like to build strength and endurance without getting the muscle man look? If so, Pilates may be just what you have been searching for.
There’s a reason that Pilates is the exercise of choice for gymnasts and professional dancers. Pilates does not rely on frequent repetition, and thus no overgrown muscles. Pilates focuses on the whole body, not just on sections of muscles.

2. Increases the Strength of Stabilizer Muscles

There are many benefits that one can achieve through a proper use of the Pilates program. One of the most significant points of the Pilates program is it’s ability to increase the strength of stabilizer muscles that may not commonly be worked out in a standard exercise program.

Also, since Pilates stresses the use of graceful and fluid movements, it can be a great way to get a better sense of the kinesthetics of your body. The sense of body that you can achieve through Pilates is quite significant, and many find that they are better able to balance themselves regardless of the position that they are in.

3. A Mind-Body Workout That Strengthens Your Whole Body

Another one of the benefits of Pilates is that it engages the mind and enhances body awareness. Like yoga, tai chi, and Asian martial arts, Pilates is not just a workout for your body. Joseph H. Pilates studied yoga, martial arts, and other ancient mind-body activities and included a strong philosophical foundation into the practice of Pilates.

Pilates not only helps tone your body, but your mind and spirit as well. The smooth, precise and flowing movements of Pilates are designed to make you more mindful of your body.

Breath movement is also emphasized to put you in touch with how breath moves through your body. Pilates has been demonstrated to reduce stress, anxiety, and helps lift depression. The mind-body connection is fundamental to the study and practice of Pilates.

4. Pilates Strengthens Your Core like No Other Exercise

Another one of the benefits of Pilates is the increased amount of strength that one can achieve in the ‘core’ of the body. The term core refers to the muscles in and around the area of the abdominal muscles and the back.

Proper breath control is also stressed in Pilates, adding to the numerous list of benefits that one can attain through regular use of the exercise program.

5. Prevents You from Future Injuries

Pilates strengthens your body and helps prevent future injuries. Pilates helps to condition the whole body, not just certain muscles. This helps balance the muscle and strength of the body. Since no set of muscles is ever over or under trained, there is less risk for injury. The body becomes more fluid and supple, protecting against injury.

6. Helps You Become Efficient With Your Body

Last, but not the least, one of the benefits of Pilates is that it teaches you how to become efficient with your body. Very few exercises can help your body become more efficient in its movement.

Why is efficiency so important? Being efficient means that your body moves in a way that is smoother, safer, and less prone to injury. By practicing Pilates on a regular basis, you can train your body more to move in a much safer and more efficient manner.

Benefits of Pilates for Older Adults

The benefits of pilates have been particularly noted in older adults. Older adults are more likely to suffer from symptoms of arthritis, including stiff and painful joints. Pilates practice has also been lauded for its ability to help prevent injury.

Even adults undergoing serious rehabilitation therapy can use Pilates to increase their range of motion and overall muscle strength. But is Pilates safe for all adults? Who should avoid participating in a Pilates program, and who is more likely to benefit from the program?

Consult your medical professional if you have any doubts about starting a pilates program. If you are suffering from severe degeneration or physical pain, you should take extra care before beginning a pilates program.

You should never feel pain while practicing pilates. If you do, you know that there is something wrong. Don’t be afraid to pull back if you feel overwhelmed.

Pilates was designed to progress naturally from one movement to another. If you feel stopped at one movement, don’t give up. Start at the beginning and work your way back to the areas you found most challenging.

Other Benefits of Pilates
Tone and build long, lean muscles without bulk.
Reduce stress, relieve tension, and boost energy through deep stretching.
Restore postural alignment.
Create a stronger, more flexible spine.
Increase the range of motion in your joints.
Improve circulation.
Heighten neuromuscular coordination.
Offer relief from back pain and joint stress.
Correct over-training of muscle groups which can lead to stress and injury.
Enhance mobility, agility and stamina.
Compliment sports training and develop functional fitness for daily life activity.
Improve the way your body looks and feels.