There are many forms of exercise programs. Pilates is among the most popular. In the United States alone, there are about 5 million people who are regularly participating in various Pilates sessions and classes. It is estimated that more individuals are doing Pilates tasks on their own, right at the comfort of their own homes during their free time. What is Pilates? Why should you be doing it?
To begin with, Pilates is an exercise system that focuses strategically on improving the body’s strength, flexibility, and posture without building up any bulk. The method involves a series of highly controlled movements that are performed using specially and specifically designed spring-resistant apparatus. Pilates could also be performed on the floor (a method known as mat work) without the need to use any tool or equipment. The sessions should be supervised by no less than specially trained instructors.
You should understand that Pilates is a form of a resistance exercise. It is not actually aerobic or cardiovascular although through doing Pilates movements, you would observe that your heart rate would surely increase. In comparison, it is more identical to weight lifting than to biking, jogging, and many other forms of popular aerobic activities.
The two key elements are spinal alignment and core muscle strength. Pilates targets the core musculature, which is loosely defined as the abdomen, the spine, the pelvis, the hips, and all other muscles that support such structures. Included in the main core muscles are the external and internal obliques (sides of the abdomen), the erector spinae (those at the back along the spine), the rectus abdominis (‘six-pack’), the hip flexors (those in the upper legs and the pelvis), and the transverse abdominis (situated deep into the gut).
During any Pilates session, the instructor would continuously prompt you to focus deeply into your core muscles. You should also pay attention to your breath as well as to the quality of movements and appropriate contraction of the muscles. The key elements of the program would be emphasized in every session. The main objective is to establish coordination among the body, the mind, and even the spirit. Developer Joseph Pilates called this coordination ‘contrology.’
Pilates was developed and created during the 1920s. Joseph Pilates was a physical trainer (died in 1967) who was active in developing targeted exercise routines. The program was originally created for physical rehabilitation purposes. Several of the first few people who were required to perform Pilates were American soldiers who returned injured from the war. It was also required for dancers who injured themselves during rehearsals and performances.
Since the early part of the 20th century, the basic tenets of Pilates have been purposely preserved. Even today, despite evident modifications and variations, Pilates still remains very truthful to its origins. It is not surprising that it is currently one of the most popular forms of exercise programs. There are classes and group sessions that are held regularly in gyms and fitness centers for people who aim to perform Pilates exercise routines. Numerous health and fitness experts keep on recommending it to people.