Conditions in which Pilates are not recommended
There are certain conditions in which one is not recommended to follow a Pilate workout session. The conditions are as follows:
- Unstable blood pressure
- Severe osteoporosis
- A herniated disk
- A risk of blood clots/disseminated intravascular coagulation
Health benefits of Pilates
The health benefits of Pilates are why we are discussing them! Therefore, those who are planning to follow a Pilate’s workout session will definitely be interested in the benefits they will be getting. As we have already discussed, Pilates focuses on the core strength and power of the body. This produces the following benefits:
By increasing the overall strength of the body muscles, Pilates ensure the proper alignment of the body and consequently a good posture. This is especially beneficial for those suffering from back pain.
Muscle tone is very important to remain active. Especially the older people lose their muscle tone and tend to sedate. Pilates help you increase the tone of your muscles.
Flattening of abdominal muscles
Pilates increase the strength of the abdominal muscles and help build a flat stomach.
The flexibility of our body decreases with age which can be restored with the help of Pilates. The process will be gradual but the final result will be worth it. Body’s flexibility is very important as it helps prevent injuries from minor falls and accidents.
Improved balance of the body
As already discussed, Pilates focuses on the mind-body connection. Pilates help build up a better connection so that your mind is aware of your body movements. Thus, you can build a stronger mind-body connection along with a good posture with the help of Pilates.
Pilates provides an excellent escape from stress. While doing the workout, your mind will be focused on your body and its movements and thus will have the least focus on your daily responsibilities and stressful situations.
Thus, by building a stronger body-mind balance, Pilates ensure the overall well-being of the body.
Pilates and Weight loss!
Pilates, in general, is the exercise to strengthen your body muscles and increase the core power. Along with building your core strength, you can also tone your body muscles especially those of the abdomen, buttocks, and legs. Thus you get a flat stomach and toned legs. You can choose from simpler sessions just to increase the strength and flexibility of your body or can go for a more rigorous workout program.
However, when it comes to weight loss you should keep it in mind that Pilates is not an aerobic form of exercise. Therefore, if you want to have some effective weight loss, you should combine your Pilates workout routine with healthier dietary options as well as some regular exercise, must be aerobic, such as swimming, walk or cycling.
Target areas of Pilates
As we have already discussed, Pilates targets the abdominal muscles and help you build a flatter stomach.
In addition to the abdomen, the spinal area is also a target region for Pilates. Therefore, Pilates is an effective exercise for those suffering from lower back pain.
Legs and thighs
In addition to providing a flatter stomach, Pilates also target your upper thighs, buttocks, and legs thus providing strength to your legs. Moreover, strengthening the thigh muscles also helps the patients suffering from arthritis. Pilates increase the flexibility of these joints and helps prevent knee injuries and arthritis.
Is there any equipment needed to do Pilates?
For the beginners, even a floor mat will be more than enough. As we have already discussed, the beginner exercises are very simple as need minimum equipment. Their focus is to increase the strength and tone of the back, abdomen, upper thighs and legs’ muscles. You can do most of the basic Pilate exercises without using any specific equipment. However, when you gradually start to upgrade to a higher level and vigorous exercise, you will have to go to the gym where an expert trainer will give you proper Pilate classes and supervise your performance as well.
Some Pilate studios have expert equipment for experts. The equipment includes:
- the Reformer
- the Cadillac
- special barrels
Let’s discuss this equipment in detail.
Specialized Pilates Equipment
The reformer is a frame in the shape of a bed, the one end of which is attached to a sliding carriage with the help of springs. You can adjust the springs to set the desired level of resistance. The carriage also has shoulder blocks on which keeps you fixed while you push/pull the carriage and prevents you from sliding off.
To the spring end of the reformer, a foot-bar is attached. You can use these foot bars to move the carriage along, with the help of your hands or feet. In addition to these foot bars, handled long straps are also attached to the opposite end of the frame. These straps are also used to move the carriage along. You can pull these straps with the help of your hands or feet.
How to use the reformer?
It is pretty simple to use. You just lie on it. You can also sit on it or stand, as you wish! Then perform your push/pull exercises with the required amount of resistance set with the help of spring adjustment.
Reformer helps you with eccentric muscle contraction while you provide resistance to the force of the springs. This helps lengthen your muscles and make them strong without adding any extra bulk to them.
In addition to the lengthening of muscles, the reformer is also a very good choice for those who are injured or are recovering from one. This is so because you can set the resistance of the reformer to lower levels as well.
The Cadillac is interesting Pilate equipment. It is made of a bed covered with a mat. On the top of the bed is a three-sided frame which is attached to the bed on its either end. The height of Cadillac is usually 6-feet. Following various apparatus are attached to the Cadillac bed:
- leg springs
- arm springs
- loops to hang from
- a push-through bar
- a trapeze
However, The Cadillac is not so popular in group classes of Pilates owing to its large size. Therefore, to enjoy its benefits, you’ll have to search for some private Pilate classes.
With Cadillac, one can perform almost all kinds of stretching exercises. It is specifically useful for those who find it extremely difficult to lie down on their back for longer periods.
Other types of equipment used
In addition to those mentioned above, some other equipment is also used in Pilates. These include:
- the stability chair
- the ladder barrel
- the spine corrector
- the arc barrel
Difference between Pilates classes and Yoga classes
As we have already discussed, Yoga and Pilates are almost similar. Both of them focus on strengthening the body-mind coordination and connection which helps develops balance. However, these two are not the same.
Yoga focuses mainly on the spiritual well-being alone whereas Pilates focus on the body-mind connection more.
Yoga is a more relaxing form of exercise whereas Pilates demand more physical exertion in order to ad perfect tone and strength to your muscles.
How effective is Pilates as a physical therapy?
Pilates is now emerging as a popular form of physiotherapy. A number of different clinics have started offering Pilates classes in the form of a therapy. Researches support the usefulness of Pilates in helping injured and ill people recover and live a healthy, meaningful life.
Pilates is helpful in a number of conditions including the following:
- Chronic neck pain
- Chronic back pain
- Knee or hip replacements
- Multiple Sclerosis
Pilates is also an excellent workout option for dancers, athletes, and sports professionals suffering from any particular injury and need to recover from that in order to resume their usual activity with the same rigor. Fortunately, Pilates exercise is a low-impact one; you can focus it on particular areas of your body under the guidance of a trained instructor.
Can you do Pilates at home?
Here is the good news you are looking for. Pilates can be done at home. Even if you are a busy parent and can’t id time to do it individually, you can do Pilates with your children as well. Thus, you can deal with Pilates as a family affair in which you can teach your children to stay fit and guide them about other life affairs too.
For further guidance, you can take help from a number of Kindle e-books available providing excellent information. Therefore, instead of wasting your time idly or playing bingo over the weekend, go and watch Pilate guidance videos and exercise with your children on a floor mat in comfortable clothes. However, if you are a beginner, it is even better than you first take some classes under the guidance of a trainer so you should know the right way to do the Pilates. In this way, you will protect yourself as well as your children from getting an injury while doing Pilates wrong.
Thus, if you are looking for a low-impact exercise which will do wonders for the tone and strength of your muscles, you should go for Pilates straightaway.