Pilates WorkoutsPilates workouts focus on building a strong healthy body by promoting concentrated movement. Compared to yoga exercise, Pilates is more dynamic. Pilates is designed to combine your breathing rhythm with the movement of your body. In Pilates exercise, you hold your torso tightly in place while moving your arms and legs in different directions. This challenges your flexibility, balance, stability and strength.
For Pilates beginners, the exercises are hard at first because your body will need to adjust to the feeling of using supporting muscles for the balancing and strengthening movements. Start practicing slowly, as your body allows, and more exercises can be added to your routine once your body adapts.
Almost everyone can do Pilates. The Pilates classes are usually held through fitness centers or local gyms. Most of them incorporate mat work in the total workout (which means you do your workout on the mat) and sometimes balls are used in beginners classes. You will be taught to concentrate on your muscles and instructors will guide you through each move and explain why you're performing each move and what your body is doing.
Some advanced classes offer machine work for Pilates students. The machines can improve and intensify your workout by using your own body as resistance. If your class includes machine work, make sure your instructor is certified, so that he/she can teach you proper, effective and safe poses.
To ensure your comfort, wear cotton clothes - such as a T-shirt or tank top and shorts - during practice. Shoes are not necessary. When you perform the poses, every movement should be slow, but flexible and strong. Since Pilates is commonly performed at a leisurely pace, you might want to pair Pilates workouts with another more intense aerobic exercise - such as swimming, running, cardio machines (elliptical, stepper or cross trainer) or brisk walking to get your heart rate going.
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