Should Pilates Classes Use Music?

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Pilates classes are very popular these days. Most gyms and fitness centers offer regular Pilates sessions that are guided and facilitated by fitness professionals. In reality, it is very different from all other fitness sessions. But many individuals do not readily identify that difference especially when their Pilates sessions use music. Some Pilates experts do not use music while others make it a point to feature productive tunes to make participants more inclined to do the tasks.

Should Pilates classes use music? It is considered a matter or preference whether a facilitator/ instructor would use music or not in every Pilates class. There are specific times when music would help in making the session more effective, though there would also be instances when it would just serve as a form of unnecessary distraction. Professionals should know when music should be used in their Pilates sessions.


For classes that involve mostly beginners, music could be used sparingly. This is because when people are relatively new to the program, it could help them attain and maintain interest if there is an appropriate music or tune that comes with the basic Pilates movements. However, in some instances, music is omitted especially when the instructor wants to make sure participants would listen to and understand specific Pilates movement instructions.

A competent and effective Pilates instructor would ensure that participants focus on keeping proper posture alignment, breath control, and stability. S/He should also make sure the students maintain a neutral spine or lying position. In this regard, it would help if music used would not use catchy tunes and interesting lyrics. Thus, most instructors prefer to use meditative music to prevent the participants from focusing instead on the lyrics.

For advanced Pilates students/participants, music could be used as an effective strategy to attain and support smooth movement. The right choice of music to be used is important as it could be significant and vital to ensuring a smoother flow of movements. The good flow of sound could also help keep the movements become more targeted.

However, when using music during Pilates classes, make sure you avoid using heavily rhythmic music. This is because such tunes could only encourage and prompt the class to unnecessarily choreograph Pilates movements just to keep up a tempo. In general, the Pilates class members should be able to move more naturally so they could be enabled to move at a strategic pace that would suit their bodies with their individual variations.

Overall, music could surely enhance any Pilates session or class. For people who have become very familiar to Pilates movements, music could be a form of further enhancement to achieve more harmony between movements and breathing. For beginners, music should definitely take a back-step because such participants could only be unnecessarily distracted.

Doing Pilates without music could also be effective especially if you do the movements on your own. But for classes, meditative or strategic music could certainly be of great help. Instructors should take their choice of music to be used as another challenge.

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Pilates for Weight Loss

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These days, weight loss is a major issue that almost everyone is concerned about. That is because the sedentary lifestyle is catching up and making obesity part of modern living. Unfortunately, beauty and sexiness are often linked with having a fit and slim physique. Thus, weight loss is considered as very important for a person’s overall appearance and confidence. Liposuction is very popular these days as a form of instant and effective weight loss. But for people who do not like the idea of undergoing surgical procedures, Pilates could be a good surgery-free alternative.

Pilates is a form of an exercise program that was developed by a physical fitness guru named Joseph Pilates during the height of the World War I. It is an exercise program that was developed to focus on flexibility and core strength. Specifically, the exercise program could bring about more ideal muscle tone that in turn could lead to a ‘taller and streamlined’ appearance. The tasks involved in the exercise could help you engage your core muscles (comprising of abdominal) and inner back muscles (especially those in the mid-back and lower back section). Thus, it could help you improve your overall posture, keep your back stronger, and attain a better posture.

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What people usually like about Pilates is that it does not require too much. The tasks could be done right at the comfort of your very own home. You may use a half-inch thick mat or just the floor. The exercise routines could take just several minutes to complete. You do not need any special equipment or tools. This is because the program is much focused on overall and targeted body movements. You could learn Pilates in many ways: through instructional videos and manuals or through guidance from experts or class facilitators.

Pilates is an exercise that is designed strategically for both men and women from all ages. The benefits are derived from the basic movements. When you do a Pilates movement, you are subjecting your body to a range of motions. There is no need to force the body to go further beyond what it could comfortably handle. The movements may be slow but they are more effective in burning stored calories. Proper and recommended pattern of breathing also helps make the exercise tasks more effective and relaxing. Overall stance is improved as well.

Not only does Pilates tone abdominal muscles. It is also effective in reducing back pains and lowering the chances for development of osteoporosis, especially in aging women. Combined with several other forms of cardiovascular exercises, Pilates could do a great wonder in losing those unlikely excess pounds at the shortest time possible. If you are aiming to lose those flabs that make your tummy area look awkward, you should strive to do Pilates exercise routines regularly. Pilates could also be considered as a mind and body exercise due to its highly targeted resistance in every movement. The exercise program is recommended for everybody, especially athletes, dancers, and obese people.

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The Six Principles of Pilates

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Pilates has always been noted as among the trendiest and most effective exercise programs around. It is currently one of the most popular fitness programs not just in the United States but in many countries across all continents. Among the best selling points of Pilates is that it works very well for a great range of people. It is popular among dancers, athletes, women, seniors, and even expecting moms. What makes the program effective?

There are six main principles that serve as important components or factors in a good Pilates workout. The method has always highlighted quality instead of quantity. Thus, unlike most other exercise systems, Pilates does not require numerous repetitions for every movement. Here are the six Pilates principles so you could better understand the philosophical foundations of the program.



In general, Pilates physically brings the focus of the entire exercise to the body’s center, which is considered as the powerhouse area. It is located in between the pubic bone and the lower ribs. Thus, you may notice that the exercise movements are energetically and strategically sourced from that center. This makes the program effective in focusing at the core.


Unlike other exercise programs, Pilates methods require your full attention. The movements are not repetitive. You have to focus to be able to go on with the flow. Experts assert that if you would bring your full attention to Pilates movements and do them with your full commitment, you surely would attain maximum value and benefits from doing the program. Pilates could also serve as a practical test on how well you could control and target your focus.


You would notice that every movement in Pilates should be done using complete muscular control. The methods are strategically developed to make sure no part of the body is left uncontrolled and missed out. To be able to attain the benefits, you have to learn how to control your movements and the pacing of the routines. It is like observing proper and correct form when exercising.


Awareness is effectively sustained throughout every movement in Pilates. Take note that there is an appropriate alignment in relation to body parts, placement, and overall trajectory for every muscle. The key to doing the methods in Pilates is in precision. Every movement should be performed correctly.


Joseph Pilates, the physical trainer who developed Pilates methods, emphasized the use of full breath when carrying out his exercise routines. He advised people to think of the lungs as bellows, which should be used strongly enough to pump air in and out (fully) of the body. Thus, you would notice that most Pilates movements are coordinating with the breath. Remember that breathing properly is a very integral part of Pilates.


Do the Pilates exercise program in a seemingly flowing manner. There should be grace, fluidity, and ease when doing every movement. If you do so, you would feel that the energy of the exercise is connecting with all the parts of the body and is flowing throughout the body in a very even way.


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Brief Look at Pilates Movements

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It is just logical that Pilates is currently one of the most popular exercise programs. More and more people are getting into it because of the health and physical benefits it provides. Other than that, peer influence is also one important factor that helps make the popularity of the exercise program further rise.

Pilates involves a great deal of physical discipline. A person needs to be properly motivated to be able to conduct the tasks involved. The activity is also very relaxing. Many people assert that Pilates helps them achieve overall relaxation after a long day of work. Through proper breathing techniques along with required body movements in the exercise, people could achieve physical coordination, strength training, and relaxation at the same time.


Indeed, Pilates helps people not just achieve physical goals. The exercise also helps them improve body balance and overall posture. Specifically, Pilates is aimed at helping people develop balance between aligning spine and proper breathing (inhalation and exhalation). Let us look at the basic movements when doing the exercise routines in Pilates.

The footwork

More emphasis is given to footwork in Pilates. That is because muscles in the legs and in the lower part of the body are the main focus and source of strength in the exercise. Surely, you would be moving your body muscles but control and balance is dictated by the biggest muscle group, which consists of the foot and lower body muscle group.

You could choose to do a variety of Pilates footwork tasks. You could take in combo or single exercises. The combo exercises are naturally consisting of a set of leg exercises infused and integrated into a Pilates exercise. Example of which is the ballet combo, which is an integration of a number of ballet movements specially modified for Pilates. There is also the sleeper style of exercises for Pilates.

Lying positions

Other than the footwork, you should also be aware of the different supine or lying positions when doing the exercise. Such exercises really help the body achieve total relaxation. Take note that while the body is in the relaxed state during supine positions, movements still are burning calories to achieve benefits similar to those from regular exercises.

Supine positions could be strategic if you would observe proper form. This is why you should be guided by a professional. Attending a regular Pilates class is one way to learn effective and proper lying positions in the program.

Rowing movements

If you are observing Pilates exercises, you must have noticed that there are tasks that resemble movements in rowing. Such movements are also recommended and are required in every Pilates session because they facilitate proper coordination between breathing and different muscle groups all across the body.

Overall, you would notice that Pilates exercise routines involve a combination of footwork, supine positions, and rowing movements all rolled into one. It could be the main reason why Pilates is very effective in extracting sweat from your body, which in turn helps burn up stored body calories.


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History of Pilates

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If you aim to understand the power Pilates has in strengthening your body, it would be appropriate to take a short glimpse at the history of the exercise program. You may have the impression that Pilates is like Yoga, which has been developed thousands of years ago. Be informed that Pilates was only developed in the 1920s, during the height of the World War I.

It was 1880 when a sickly baby was born in Dusseldorf, Germany. The boy was named Joseph Pilates. As a very young child, Joseph was contended in watching his friends jump, run, and play games. He was not able to do the same because his weak body was frail. That was when the methods of Pilates were conceived by the young Joseph.


Joseph was very determined to find ways to improve his physical strength, stamina, and overall health. He then set a lifelong quest for an appropriate fitness program and exercise. Joseph not only succeeded in overcoming his physical frailties. Eventually, he mastered them all. As he aged, Joseph stood to become an accomplished gymnast, boxer, skier, and yogi.

During the World War I, Joseph took an internship in England. There he worked as a male nurse, treating and attending to injured victims of the war. He was very convinced in his own belief that specific exercises could effectively help in the rehabilitation of badly damaged bodies. Most of the patients he handled were not really able to move. Joseph’s determination to help patients gain mobility and strength was undeterred.

He then rigged up hospital beds of war patients with springs and straps. At the same time, Joseph created several series of strategic exercises that aim to help move patients’ joints through great ranges of motion. Such exercises aimed to also help patients develop flexibility, endurance, and muscle strength. Surprisingly, most of Joseph’s patients were eventually able to finally get up and then move around on their own.

Joseph, together with his wife, moved to New York City in 1923. There, the couple opened a fitness studio that aimed to provide rehabilitation to injured dancers. Several famous dancers that became clients of the studio were Martha Graham and George Balanchine. Since then, word about the Pilates method spread like wildfire.

Soon the renowned Pilates method became an exercise of choice not just by many dancers but also by many professional athletes and entertainment icons. For many decades, Pilates was enjoyed exclusively by the elite community. It was a form of an exercise program that was enjoyed only by the rich and the famous.

However, in the past decade, Pilates found its way to reach more people. Many membership gyms and fitness clubs have started offering Pilates classes and sessions. Many people have since then discovered for themselves how Pilates could truly help them effectively gain flexibility, strength and body balance. Most of them have been awed by the fact that they need not spend more time at the gym just to attain desired results. Not surprisingly, Pilates emerged to become among the hottest trends in fitness and health.


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