If you've never tried Pilates, there are many reasons why you might want to add it to your fitness routine. One of the biggest reasons for this is that it helps you form a foundation for your fitness routine by focusing on core strength and stability. To help you have a better understanding of what Pilates is all about, the following is a primer to get you up to speed.
Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates during World War I when he was held in an internment camp. While there, he devised a fitness training regimen for other prisoners and hospital patients using various props. When the war was over, Joseph continued to refine his regimen, and over the years, his workouts have become the "go to" workout for dancers around the world.
Pilates focuses on helping you tone your muscles rather than build bulk. Because of this, Pilates is popular with people who want to be strong, stable, and flexible. During workouts, there is a strong emphasis on breathing and instructors often give students cues on when and how to breathe at different times. In addition, every workout begins with some form of abdominal engagement and spinal alignment — making sure you have good form is key. While Pilates is not an intense cardio workout, know that you will likely work up a good sweat as you work through each move or pose.
Types of Pilates Classes
There are different types of Pilates classes: mat and reformer.
Mat classes require limited equipment and are a great place to start for beginners as the learning curve is not as steep. In a mat Pilates class, you are likely to work through a mix of core exercises like various forms of sit-ups, planks, and balance routines.
Reformer classes involve working with a piece of fitness equipment that has a movable carriage on rails where you are seated, standing, or laying on during the workout. Your movements are regulated by your body weight and resistance from the springs that work to keep the carriage in place. In a reformer class, you will also use straps and pulleys to work through different exercises. While a reformer class works your core, it is also better at working your arms and legs.
Here at Evolve Fitness Studios, we offer a variety of mat and reformer classes for people of all abilities. Check out our class schedule online and sign up for a class today. We'd love to see you!
by Tina O'Sullivan, Certified Pilates Instructor
If you know me at all you know I LOVE to be upside down, and I usually get one of two response when I share my inverted experience… either ‘WOW’ or ‘OW.’ Although I want everyone else to be as excited as I am to get upside down, I totally understand the initial “OW” reaction.
Inversions are not all about being flashy on Instagram, and showing off how cool I look with all the blood rushing to my face… #joking. There are actually many benefits to getting a different view of things every once and a while (on and off the mat).
***Practice SAFELY and under the supervision of your personal trainer/instructor.
Don’t let all the beautiful half-naked women on Instagram intimidate you. You don’t need to be able to hold a handstand for a minute to get the benefits of being upside down. You can use different props/equipment to help you gain a better understanding of the “upside-down.”
My recommendation is to take it slow and LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! It took me over 3 years to even be able to hold a headstand without support. I am still working on my handstand daily, its a process, and enjoy the ride!!!
Evolve Fitness Studios
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