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Pilates for Beginners

Pilates is a safe and effective way to exercise for everyone, from seniors to people with injuries to top athletes!

 

Often done on a mat and/or a pilates machine, called a reformer, this low impact style works on strengthening your core and stabilizer muscles.

 

What Is Pilates?

woman doing pilates for beginner class

For those interested in pilates for beginners, it's best to start at the beginning: What is pilates?

In short, here's the definition that hits all the main points:

Pilates is an exercise that focuses on low-impact, core-centric movements accompanied by special breathing. The practice can be performed on a mat and/or with equipment. The goal is to strengthen and tone. At the same time, it can help increase flexibility and improve posture.

 

Pilates vs. Yoga

Pilates vs. yoga: What's the difference? Pilates practice and yoga are sometimes confused as the same practice. However, it's important to note that the two practices are unique.

Yoga tends to encompass more mind training than pilates. For example, on a continuum, yoga would be closer to meditation than pilates.

Pilates tends to focus on refining the mechanics of the body. Its goals are improved flexibility, core muscles, strength, and posture, essentially a full body pilates workout. Though yoga exercises focus on improving the same areas, it is usually gentler and softer. It also includes more static poses (depending on which class you decide to take).

Despite these differences, yoga and pilates are also alike in many ways. Both practices focus on breathing and promote health and wellness. Both offer a wide range of health benefits.

 

Who Was Joseph Pilates?

He was the founder of pilates1. Joseph developed the practice after working in a British hospital along with his wife Clara. There he helped patients who could not walk during World War I. 

After emigrating to America from Germany, the couple opened a pilates studio in New York in 1926. Because English was not their first language, it developed a unique hands-on approach to teaching — one that is still used today.

 

Can Anyone Do Pilates Workouts?

Beginners' pilates is an excellent introduction to exercising. What's most wonderful about this practice is that anyone can do it. Pilates is for men, women, seniors, kids — the list goes on and on. 

You need to ensure that you start with the best exercises to fit your physical fitness level. This can easily be achieved by working with a skilled pilates instructor. 

Your instructor will be able to assess your optimal starting point. They can also help you learn the proper use of your pilates machine and other pilates equipment and create a lower and upper body workout routine that addresses all your goals.

 

The Benefits of Pilates Exercises

Here are some of the main elements that pilates focuses on:

  1. Improved posture

  2. Refined flexibility

  3. Injury prevention

  4. Improved stamina during other workouts

  5. Increase muscle strength

  6. Deeper breathing

  7. Whole-body workout

  8. Daily burn of calories

 

These are but a few of the things pilates helps with. Regular exercise with functional movement focusing on your own body and its capabilities will give a strong foundation to work from.

 

25-minute workout

Whether you're doing a 25 min total body strength workout for women or a simple beginners class, here are some added benefits of pilates for new moms:

  1. Help heal diastasis recti after birth

  2. An uplifting and energizing way to have "me time"

  3. Improved pelvic floor strength

 

Using a Pilates Instructor

Start pilates with a certified pilates instructor at your side, ensuring a correctly performed exercise. An instructor can provide you with a complete guide of all the equipment their benefits and offer modifications to the training if you feel pain. If you are looking to work on specific muscle groups as ab muscles, inner thighs, or legs in general, the instructor knows how to get you there.

 

Pilates Equipment

woman using a pilates ring

Pilates equipment may or not be required, depending on your class. For mat pilates and to get your mat work in, all you need is your pilates mat or yoga mat. Of course, you may be asked to use props such as stability balls, toning balls, a pilates ring, foam rollers, resistance band, etc.

You can also practice on a pilates reformer. There are different types of reformers available. 

When taking classes at a pilates studio, your instructor will have reformers there for you to use. Conversely, if you're interested in purchasing one for your home, you should speak with your instructor about the best option.

 

Pilates: Frequently Asked Questions

What is pilates?

Pilates is a fitness method developed by Joseph H Pilates early in the 20th century. The practice focuses on improving core strength, flexibility, and postural alignment. 

Pilates for beginners focuses on simply learning the basics and synchronizing the breath with physical movements, ensuring an intense full-body workout.

 

Do you offer pilates classes?

Yes! We offer a range of pilates for beginners. All of our classes help promote a balanced mind, balanced body, and balanced breathing. You will receive a full-body workout.

For moms, whether your goal is to maintain strength in your core during pregnancy or improve your abs with diastasis recti-safe exercises after giving birth, we can help. We also have a number of pilates for beginners classes available. Ask about our 25 min total body strength for women class!

 

Is pilates okay when pregnant?

Yes! In fact, pilates can be an excellent way to effectively workout when pregnant. It's perfect for safe full-body training. Just be sure to choose pilates classes or pilates videos that are targeted and safe for pregnancy. Prenatal pilates is different from other types of pilates.

 

Is pilates safe for diastasis recti?

Yes. Diastasis recti (ab separation) is an especially common challenge for new moms. Fortunately, pilates diastasis recti exercises can help because they focus on improving strength in your core.

 

Who could practice pilates?

Everyone, regardless of age or gender. Including a pilates routine into your daily life will bring not only health but also mental benefits. Your pilates session can be tailored after your needs, restrictions, or abilities, so this shouldn't stop anyone from trying the pilates method. If you are new and want to try classic pilates, mat exercises are a suitable intro to the pilates world. Reformer pilates is something you could try once you feel more comfortable.

 

Is pilates primarily used as an exercise?

No, contemporary pilates is also used by a physical therapist as a rehabilitation tool during recovery from an injury. The therapist ensures that the muscles work as intended. A therapist can also provide medical advice when it comes to the rehabilitation and recovery process. Pilates strengthens the muscles and the core strength, speeding up the healing.

Pilates is a safe and effective way to exercise for just about everyone, from seniors to people with injuries to top athletes!

Often done on a mat and/or a pilates machine, called a reformer, this low impact style works on strengthening your core and stabilizer muscles.

 

ANAHANA PILATES RESOURCES

PILATES WIKIS

Pilates

Joseph Pilates

Pilates Reformer

Pilates Equipment

Pilates Teacher Training

 

PILATES BLOGS

What is Pilates?

Pilates vs Yoga 

Pilates for Beginners 

 

References

https://www.pilatesfoundation.com/pilates/the-history-of-pilates/

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/pilates-and-yoga-health-benefits

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6454249/#__ffn_sectitle


 

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