Suppose you’ve heard of pilates or seen classes advertised at your local gym or community centre. In that case, you might be interested in finding out more about what pilates involves and how it can be beneficial. This article looks at pilates and its benefits so you can get all the information before deciding if you want to sign up for a pilates class.
What is pilates?
Pilates is an exercise that focuses on core strength as well as increasing flexibility. During a pilates session, you will get into a pose that tests your core strength. Once in this pose, you will move your legs or arms to challenge and improve your core strength. Pilates has some similarities to yoga, but some differences make these two forms of exercise unique.
Pilates and yoga
The main difference between yoga and pilates is the areas they target on the body and their overall aim as different forms of exercise. Some of the moves may be similar, but with yoga, the focus is to tune in to your body and emotions; it’s more than just physical exercise. Pilates is different; it only focuses on the physical aspects of the poses, and the aim is to improve strength, particularly core strength. Yoga has more of a complete body focus, including core strength. Some people switch between yoga and pilates, and others prefer one.
What is a pilates machine?
A pilates machine is a piece of exercise equipment that’s designed to help with pilates exercises. You can use a pilates machine in many different ways to improve core strength. The most famous pilates machine, the pilates reformer, has a platform that has springs to hold it in certain positions. The person using the pilates machine will utilise the resistance that the springs create to get into various positions that challenge and build core strength.
Can anyone take part in pilates?
Pilates is considered a low-impact exercise, making it more suitable for those with injuries or conditions. Almost everyone can practise and see some benefits from regular pilates. If you’re a beginner, we encourage you to go to a beginner pilates class; before the class, you can discuss any concerns or injuries that could impact your ability to perform. The pilates instructor may make changes to the positions to ensure you don’t aggravate an injury further. If you’re in doubt during the class, always listen to your body and sit out if you feel the move isn’t suitable for you.
What to wear for pilates
If you’re a beginner attending a pilates class for the first time, you might want to know what clothing you should wear. Pilates clothes generally consist of fitted tops, flexible bottoms, and grippy socks or bare feet. You might also want to wear a sports bra to protect your chest. There are no specific pilates clothes that you need to buy for this type of exercise. Generally, gym wear will be suitable. Opt for leggings, a fitted gym top and bare feet for a beginner pilates class.
Can pilates help with weight loss?
Combined with a healthy and balanced diet, pilates can be very beneficial for those looking to trim down and lose some excess weight. If you’re looking for an intense cardio workout that will burn a lot of calories, pilates might not be the best option for your needs. However, although pilates doesn’t burn as many calories as other forms of exercise, it can be very beneficial to your body. It improves your core strength and flexibility, which will help if you plan on doing any other forms of exercise.
Pilates is a popular form of exercise that’s enjoyed by many people of all ages and fitness levels. If you like the idea of taking part in a pilates class, look for one nearby at a local gym or sports centre. Going to a pilates class with a friend can be a great motivator to continue the exercise and maintain your focus. Don’t be put off if you can’t do the positions straight away; it will take time, practice and patience to build up your core strength and get better at pilates.