Pilates developed almost a hundred years ago, and with time, it has developed a lot. There are around 500 different exercises in Pilates that are inspired by yoga, ballet, and calisthenics. The main aim of the regime is to improve flexibility, balance, strength, and awareness of the body. Before we move ahead and understand more about Pilates, please note that you should not start any exercise routine without getting a fitness level assessment from your doctor. Though Pilates is safe, and it is one of the most popular rehabilitation methods, without proper guidance, it will not provide the required results.
The History and Definition of Pilates
Back in the 1920s, Joseph Pilates, who was a physical trainer, introduced an exercise regime called Pilates. It was mainly focused on the rehabilitation of athletes and dancers so that they can return to their routine after an injury or surgery. It became widely popular among physiotherapists and the general community with time.
We can explain Pilates as a set of aerobic and non-aerobic exercises. The carefully selected activities mainly focus on improving the concentration and focus of the body. It helps in lengthening and stretching all major muscle groups in the body in a balanced manner. Every exercise in the regime has definite rhythm, the pattern of breathing, and the placement of the body parts.
As Pilates is often used in rehabilitation, any exercise in Pilates will not exhaust the muscle groups. You will hardly feel any sweating or straining during the regime, and it will revolve around intense concentration. Every exercise is performed in low repetitions, and a session may last for 45 to 90 minutes max. The trainer may ask you to use different specialized types of equipment to provide resistance.
Your Pilates regime will depend entirely on your requirements. The set of exercises will differ from person to person, and it is done to make sure you get the maximum results. Because of the variety of possibilities, it is suitable for athletes, people with limited mobility, people with low fitness levels, and pregnant women.
The Health Benefits Associated with Pilates
- Helps in improving flexibility
- Increases the muscle strength and tone the body.
- Enhances the control over muscles in back and limbs
- It can help in stabilizing the spine
- Pilates improves posture
- It is one of the best options for rehabilitation after injury or surgery.
- It improves balance
- It is safe for the rehabilitation of spinal injuries
- It helps in improving lung capacity
- It can improve blood circulation
- It helps in improving body awareness and concentration
- Length of the session and type of exercises
Generally, Pilates sessions can be of 45 minutes to 90 minutes, depending on your requirements. However, when you start any exercise regime, including Pilates, it is prescribed to start slow and move up with the time. After assessing your current health, your trainer will decide the best set of exercises.
Two Primary Forms of Pilates Are Mat-Based and Equipment-Based
Mat-based Pilates –
It includes sets of exercises that can be performed on the floor. The gravity and body will provide resistance during the training. It is best suited to help in improving posture, balance, and coordination of the body muscles.
Equipment-based Pilates –
It includes the use of equipment to provide resistance during the exercise. Some form of Pilates can include pulley system etc. and some can consist of weights like dumbbells etc. Based on the current state of your body, the equipment and loads may vary.
A Word of Precaution
Though Pilates is one of the most common methods of rehabilitation, it is not prescribed to start the regime without the guidance of a trainer. Pregnant women, obese people, and those who are recovering from injuries or surgery should only begin to Pilate sessions after a complete health assessment.