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Pilates Workouts & Exercises Guide

What is Pilates?

Developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century Pilates is a widely popular workout technique practiced in the USA which emphases on the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility and awareness of your body.Core strength and modification is the foundation of Pilates exercise. You can call it a modern version of Yoga as Pilates and Yoga both are focused on improving your core and flexibility without the use of any external machines and solely through the power of your own body. It is a safe sensible exercise system that can transform the way your body looks, feels and performs.Pilates also improves flexibility, agility and economy of motion, as it involves your body to work and engage. Apart from the physical benefits, Pilates also help you to maintain a better mental state.

Ideally Pilates is based on originally six principles which are: concentration, control, center, flow, precision, and breathing which later were refined and developed further. And the different exercises that are done n Pilates help us to improve each of these characters.For using Pilates you do not need any gyming equipments, any type of dumble or any weighting rods all you need is just a mat and your body.

Pilates Workouts

What are the benefits of Pilates?

We have already talked about how Pilates helps one to strengthen their core muscles and increase flexibility but as an added advantage it also helps you to heal your injuries in a better and faster way. Pilates can help you overcome injuries like slip discs and knee problems. Pilates helps in healing joint injuries and is helpful to people who have weak back and for those who have a posture problem.
But it is not only Pilates that will let you achieve your aim of increasing or decreasing the body weight. Pilates only helps you to increase coordination of your body and strengthen it. If you want to decrease your weight or build muscles then Pilates is not the exercise that will help you, one has to go to the gym and lift weights along with cardio exercise to achieve this. Pilates is complementary to your exercises and is not going to give you cardio vascular benefits, it is an addition to your exercise

Tips For Pilates Workouts

  • One should do Pilate 3 times a week.
  • You need to warm up for Pilates and cool down too just like with any other exercise.
  • You exercise all muscle groups with Pilates, even the smaller ones including neck muscles.
  • Pilates will not help you to bulk up but will rather strengthen you up.
  • Pilates needs to be practiced in a gym especially if you practice Pilates on a reformer. Mat exercise can be practiced at home.

Pilates Exercises

8 Ultimate Pilate Workouts and Exercises

1- Pilate’s curls

Lie down on your back and then raise your neck above the ground. Now bend your knees and focusing on the chest line raises your shoulders and neck above the ground. Do not crunch your neck forward let the core muscles do all the work. Hold for one breath and then lie down slowly.

2- Hundreds

Start by lying on your back keep your legs straight and then try to rise your shoulders and the neck as done in the earlier exercise. But this time you will also have to raise your legs in the air from your waist. Hold for one breath and release; remember not to bend your knees.

3- Roll up

It also starts with the pose above but in this exercise while lying on the mat keep your hands straight up above your head and then try to raise your core above from the ground. Come up to the sitting position and then bed slowly to the front from your waist. Try to move slowly and smoothly without jerking or forward lunging.

4- Rolling like a ball

Sit on the mat with your knees coming towards your chin. Hold on to your legs with both the hands. Roll back such that your backbone comes in the contact of the mat and then roll back as far as possible. Try to get into the sitting position by rolling forward. And remember not to let your toes go out of your hands.

5- Single leg stretch

Lie down on the mat facing upwards, bend one of your knee and hold it with your hands. Lift the nest leg in the air and keep the knee straight, now try to lift your shoulders up and let your body come close to the bent knee, and then take the leg back leave your hands off it and stretch your legs, repeat it with the other leg.

6- Double leg stretch

It is same as the above but in this case instead of one leg at a time, curl up the knees of both the legs and pull them closer to your chest with the help of your hands. Exhale and then release the legs and stretch them as far as possible.

7- Criss cross

Start with face up on the mat, with your hands behind the neck and keeping your elbows wide. Lift the head, neck, shoulders and legs off the mat. Now move your body or arms to your left and bring the right knee closer to your left elbow. Twist to other side and bring the other leg towards the right elbow.

8- Pilates plank to pushup

This is just like the basic pushups with a twist of the Pilates. Start by standing in the Pilates stance arms reaching up the sky. Exhale and roll your body in the rag doll position. Raise the hands like a plank and bring them to the ground. By the help of your hands try to raise your body up from the ground keeping your elbows close to the rib cage. Do 3-4 reps.

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