The Pilates Method teaches a common-sense approach to efficient movement habits for whole-body health. Every Pilates exercise combines strength and flexibility with breathing and total body awareness. Learning to pay attention to what your body is doing and how it moves is a must for getting the most from your Pilates training program. Developed as a system or movement regime, Pilates training provides a variety of choices both in exercises and specialized Pilates equipment to help reinforce good movement habits for an improved quality of life. With over five hundred exercises in the Pilates system, there are lots of exercises to choose from to keep you focused, motivated, and progressing towards your wellness goals. Done well, the Pilates Method exercises help teach you how your body is put together and how to find and use all the right parts for safe, efficient, injury-free movement. Everything you learn about how to move your body during a Pilates training program can be practiced during other sport and fitness activities, and with time… these important new habits, acquired during Pilates workouts, will transfer into fitness for an improved quality of daily life.
Joseph Pilates believed that, “Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.” A sound mind in a strong body gives us the tools necessary to live life to the fullest. If you’re looking for a fitness program that is fun, challenging, develops balance and control, provides total body conditioning, improves posture and breathing, helps reduce stress, and has a strong focus on a combination of core strength and flexibility – incorporate Pilates exercises and principles into your weekly workout routine.
Regardless of age or fitness level there is always an appropriate place to start when developing your Pilates workout program. Pilates really is for every Body!
If you’re healthy, Pilates Matwork can be a great way to get your Pilates workout program started. There are over 50 different Pilates Matwork exercises. A basic Mat workout usually includes about fifteen to twenty exercises and, once you know what you’re doing, can be completed in as little as ten to fifteen minutes! This can be a quick stand-alone workout, or can be a great complement to an aerobic training program. An experienced Pilates student can complete an advanced Pilates Mat workout in thirty minutes to an hour.
You can find numerous books, Pilates Mat videos, DVD’s and Pilates MP3 workouts on the market that can be good resources to help remember the exercises, but many people are unaware that Matwork is only half of the Pilates system. For ideal results, your Pilates program should incorporate both Matwork and Pilates Equipment exercises into your workout program. And nothing compares to the benefits you can receive through the hands-on assistance of a qualified Pilates teacher.
We all have dominant and weaker muscles, and don’t always notice when we’re cheating. Regardless of your athletic background, when you are learning the Pilates exercises, the eagle-eye of a good instructor can assist you in really getting the most from your Pilates training program. Once you know what you’re doing, you should be self-sufficient and able to workout on your own with occasional sessions with a Pilates instructor to tweak your technique and progress your workout program.
If you want to make the most of your Pilates training experience, (or have any injuries or have had recent surgery,) private one-on-one Pilates training using the Pilates Reformer and other specialized Pilates equipment -- Pilates Cadillac / Trapeze Table, the Ladder Barrel, Spine Corrector, Pedi-pole, and Pilates Chairs, may be the very best option to develop a safe and effective exercise program. The Pilates equipment provides both more support, and more resistance, to assist you in learning how to strengthen and stretch the right muscles. Plus with hundreds of exercises to choose from, a personalized program can be developed to take your special needs and goals into consideration for a fun, rewarding workout experience that will help you get the results you’re looking for from your Pilates wellness program.
When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to start with a few one-on-one Pilates training sessions and let your Pilates teacher help guide you into a workout plan that’s best for you. Whether it’s on the Pilates equipment, Matwork, or both… a well-planned, whole-body Pilates workout should be completed in less than hour. Rather than being exhausted, you should feel more invigorated when you are finished. The goal: improved mind, body, and spirit, increased circulation and blood flow, reduced stress, improved energy and enhanced vitality to enjoy life!
Most Pilates students begin to see improvements after their first few sessions. For some changes are dramatic and happen very quickly. Others begin to notice subtle differences in how they breathe, sit, stand, and move. One of Joseph Pilates famous quotes is, “You’ll feel better after 10 sessions, look better after 20, and have a completely new body after 30 sessions.”
Happiness and health go hand in hand. A Pilates exercise program can be one of the best ways to keep your whole body healthy, and Pilates workouts are for every Body! If you haven’t experienced the benefits of Pilates do yourself a favor and find a qualified teacher, Pilates studio, or health club that offers Pilates training programs for both the Matwork exercises and Pilates equipment, and check it out. Learn what the Pilates Method can do for you! You’ll love the results.
Looking for a Pilates Teacher?
Try the Studio Finders on the following sites:
The Pilates Method Alliance - www.pilatesmethodalliance.org,
Pilates Style Magazine - www.pilatesstyle.com
About the Author
Aliesa George is a PMA Gold-Certified Pilates Teacher, Pilates Teacher-Trainer, and Pilates Official Guide Expert for Selfgrowth.com. She has been teaching movement techniques for over twenty-five years. Aliesa has a BFA in Dance and is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer/Group Exercise Instructor. Author of Fantastic Feet! Exercises to Strengthen the Ankles, Arches and Toes, and many other Pilates & wellness education resources, she is committed to helping clients & teachers develop their belief in unlimited potential and positive change through the mind-body connection. For details on workshops, resources, & products, and to contact Aliesa, please visit http://www.CenterworksPilates.com.
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