Pilates, pronounced as ‘puh-la-teez’, is a comparatively new fitness routine for the body that promises to create endurance, flexibility, agility and the like, without increasing or adding any bulk, read muscle altogether. People who regularly indulge in this fitness regime feel a like a constant powerhouse, and experienced enhanced health.
The best aspect of pilates if that it can encompass a diverse range of individuals, from fitness enthusiasts, young adults, and even people who don’t fancy exercise much! We give you some tips on how to make the most of your workout session gaining maximum benefit.
Pilates basically involves simple exercises performed on a mat , to practice control, precision and fluidity of the body as a whole. Hence all the transitions from one exercise to another are in motion.
Beginner’s Guide To Pilates
Pilates Warm-up Exercises
At least two or three of the following Pilates warm up exercises must be done before starting with a normal workout session to decrease the probability of cramps as an after effect.
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Arm Reach and Pull
Basically for shoulder stability, this warm up exercise focuses on the arms and shoulders. Slowly and steadily, push the arms away from the body, parallel to the ground an pull them towards the chest. Repeat 3-5 times, to loosen the muscles.
Lie on your back with arms on the sides, bent knees with the feet lying flat on the ground. Next, loosen all body parts and release enough energy to keep the knees and feet in the natural curve of the spine. Relax your body ans let the stress go away by practicing the same for 3-5 minutes.
Wall Roll Down
Stand aligned to a wall and slowly bend over to reach your toes, going as far as you can , but not forcing the body as this can result in injury. This gets the abs and spine stimulated easily.
Now that the warm-up is complete, lets start with the exercises. Breathing slowly, lift your chest above the mat, drawing in your abs. This is slight different from the regular crunches. One needs to repeat the same for about 6 to 8 times.
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Lying down, place your hands with your fingertips facing the wall behind you. Next, pull up your body, gathering energy from the shoulders and abs, without letting your legs go up. Inhale while doing so and exhale when letting go, and letting your back touch the mat again.
One Leg Circle
Cross one leg to the other side of the hip while inhaling and lying down with the same relaxed posture. Extend the leg and move it in a circle. Repeat at least five times with each leg. This exercise focuses on the thighs, hips and abdominal region.
Side Kick Series
Muscular focus is on the inner thighs and abs. Turn over to lie on your sides, keeping the hips, thighs , hands etc. in alignment. Place the palm of your hand on the head to give support to the ribs. Now, lift one leg sideways and inhale as you do so.
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Exhale while placing it in the former position. Repeat at least a dozen times and turn over for the next side. These are the basic exercises for a beginner. Do at least for half hour a day and repeat five times a week as a regular routine to see positive results!