Over the last 10 years, Pilates has become extremely popular. There are studios popping up all over the place and many health clubs have added Pilates classes. But what exactly is Pilates and how do you know if it is right for you?
Developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s, Pilates is an adaptable form of exercise which concentrates on building core strength and improving flexibility. The core muscles are the internal muscles of the abdomen and back. By developing and training these muscles, you can develop stability throughout your entire torso. Not only does this lead to better balance, improved posture, and a leaner silhouette, but it can also help reduce or eliminate back pain. Pilates works to build strength and endurance without adding muscle bulk, which is why it has been very popular with dancers and gymnasts for decades.
The great thing about Pilates is that anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can benefit from this exercise. Because this exercise method is so adaptable, even beginners can enjoy the benefits from their very first class.
Once you have decided to give Pilates a try, here are a few things you should know about your first class. First, make sure you wear something comfortable, which allows you to move freely. You do not want any clothing which will pull or bind. Secondly, make sure to pay attention to your breathing throughout the entire class. This may seem difficult at first as you try to learn a bunch of new exercises, but do not let this worry you. After a few classes, you will get much better at coordinating your breathing with the exercises. Finally, do not expect to be able to do all the poses. It takes time to master them, but you will find that if you practice regularly, you will see improvement each time.
Pilates is a great way to build awareness of your body. You will ultimately have better posture, be more aware of how you sit or stand, and build strong core muscles which will benefit your entire body. A strong core helps prevent injuries during any type of workout, and the long, lean muscles that Pilates helps to sculpt will help you look and feel wonderful.