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Pilates: The Basics & Benefits

Clara John provides an insight into the objectives and benefits of a Pilates workout.

Pilates is an amazingly efficient exercise program that simultaneously engages the mind and body. It is a total body workout to keep you fit and energized. It is similar to yoga, in which you have to practice certain postures for a specific time. However, there is a difference in that yoga poses are usually prolonged without any movement, but Pilates poses include repetitive movements sometimes.

Pilates concentrates on building core muscle strength - the powerhouse of the body. Pilates focuses on strength building, controlled breathing, flexibility, and meditation. The key is to control the muscles and mind together. Nowadays, Pilates has become one of the most widely practiced exercise systems globally.

How to do Pilates?

The Pilates system is based on fundamental principles, including proper postural alignment, focused breathing, the concentration of mind and body together, improved circulation, and fluid movements. It concentrates primarily and engages central body muscles, including the back, abdominals, and hips, known as core body muscles. Pilates moves can be carried out with or without equipment.

After mastering the basic moves, one can increase the intensity and challenge of the poses through specific Pilates tools. The Pilates Reformer, trapeze table, spine corrector, and foot character are some of the apparatus which are used widely nowadays to perform Pilates workouts. Some of the props, like large and small workout balls, resistance bands, Pilates circles, and foam rollers, are also used in Pilates workouts to increase the intensity of the moves.

Benefits of Pilates Workout

1. Pilates offers several benefits for mental and physical comfort. The workout assists in building a strong core and healthy lean body. You can tone a strong slender body with healthy muscles via regular Pilates practice. One of the primary aims of Pilates is to increase the elasticity of the muscles and mobility of the joints, which helps in preventing common injuries.

2. Pilates workout stresses correct postural alignment. It helps create awareness of the importance of proper posture for the spinal and skeletal system. The more importance you give to the core muscles, the more flexible and stronger your spine becomes.

3. Pilates engages both mind and body in the poses, highlighting the importance of controlled breathing. Focused breathing is beneficial for the mind and body to work correctly. It improves blood circulation to provide adequate oxygen and nutrients for each body cell. It helps in effectively eliminating wastage from the body.

4. It offers more significant benefits for older people to prevent arthritis, osteoporosis, and other joints and muscle discomforts. Pilates improves the flexibility of joints and muscles, which immensely assist older adults in increasing their range of movement. It is especially beneficial for painful joints and stiff muscles.

5. Pilates is positive in improving physical and mental balance. We all need to learn and practice the workout correctly to get a positive outcome. It is a good idea to start with a trained instructor before doing it independently. For older adults and those with injuries, it is advisable to practice the workout under the supervision of a qualified instructor but remember to speak to your physician before beginning any new exercise.

Page Reference

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  • JOHN, C. (2013) Basics & Benefits of Pilates Workout [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Clara John is a blogger and fitness freak, spending her time learning health techniques.