There are so many exercises out there it’s easy to find yourself in a spin. Or spin class. Or yoga studio. Or dance room. When will it end? Well, we have another to throw into the mix. Pilates. But hear us out as we have everything you need to know about Pilates that might just change your mind.
What is Pilates?
Simply put, Pilates is an exercise that has been designed to strengthen your entire body through various activities. It uses multiple stretches and movements that help improve your flexibility, balance, and posture, as well as improving your core strength. Bonus! Pilates was first thought up by Joseph Pilates who worked as a gymnast and carpenter in Germany. This genius developed the exercise to help injured soldiers and dancers recover. Now, it has grown to become a worldwide phenomenon.
Different types of Pilates
It is easy to think that Pilates is one class, but there are actually two different types that work in different ways. One version of the exercise involves using yoga mats. Here, you will have a cushioning to help you stretch into position and focus on your breathing. The other option of Pilates consists of using a machine called a reformer. This special piece of equipment will help you get the most from your workout, although these classes are a lot less common.
Benefits of pilates
There are several benefits of Pilates. Some of these include helping to perfect and maintain a better posture, as well as improving your balance, and helping to become more flexible. As if that wasn’t enough, taking part in Pilates has also been proved to help reduce stress, help tone up muscles in your body, and help improve people’s well-being. Is there nothing this exercise can’t do? It seems not!
Pilates for weight loss
In addition to all the other benefits, Pilates has also been shown to help people looking to lose weight. The exercise means you are working towards strengthening your muscles. This, in turn, will help boost your metabolism and see the pounds melt away. However, it is recommended that people combine Pilates with another form of exercise, such as a form of cardio, to see the full benefits of getting active.
Equipment needed for Pilates
Although some classes offer up their routines on a reformer, for many pilates groups, you only need a soft mat, such as a yoga mat. As time goes on, you may find yourself using specialist barrels to help get a full stretch throughout your body, but these aren’t necessary to get the full benefits of a class. That is one of the most appealing aspects of Pilates – it doesn’t cost the Earth to do!
The difference between Pilates and yoga
You may be starting to wonder if there are any differences between yoga and Pilates? Although they may look similar on paper, there are some essential differences. Yoga uses stretches and poses that focus mainly on connecting your mind and body. This form of exercise also has a strong focus on spiritual well-being. On the other hand, Pilates has more of a focus on strengthening your muscles as well as toning your body.
With all these classes on offer, could you have now found one that ticks all the boxes? There are no complex pieces of equipment, and you could be getting a full body workout in the process. Sounds perfect! Now the only question is where do we sign our names?