Pilates is a series of about 500 exercises inspired by calisthenics. Pilates lengthens and stretches all the major muscle groups in the body in a balanced fashion. It improves flexibility, strength, balance, and body awareness.
Pilates caters to everyone, from beginners to advanced. You can perform exercises using your own body weight, or with the help of various pieces of equipment.
A typical Pilates workout includes a number of exercises and stretches. Each exercise is performed with attention to proper breathing techniques and abdominal muscle control. To gain the maximum benefit, you should do Pilates at least two or three times per week. You may notice postural improvements after 10 to 20 sessions.
Pilates is partly inspired by yoga, but is different in one key respect – yoga is made up of a series of static postures, while Pilates is based on putting yourself into unstable postures and challenging your body by moving your limbs.
“Pilates as a Programme is Fabulous. It increases Muscular Endurance, Core Strength.” according to Maahek Nair, master Pilates & Yoga trainer, and Coach to @shraddhakapoor.
5 Exercises for Home – Pilates Routine
Hundred (100 Reps of 3 Sets)
- Lie face up, arms at sides.
- Curl head, neck, and shoulders up, and extend legs to a sustainable level (where abs stay engaged but the lower back is not lifting from the mat).
- Begin pumping arms up and down, breathing in and exhaling. To modify, bend your knees at a 90-degree angle.
Pelvic Curl (20 Reps of 3 Sets)
- Lie down on your back; bend your knees, and keep your feet flat on the floor. Align your ankles, knees, and hips to form a straight line. This position will start in a neutral spine the natural curves of your spine are present so your lower back is not pressed into the mat.
- Engage your abs by pulling your belly button toward your spine, and keep it in that position as you press the lower spine into the floor.
- In this position, your back is very long on the floor, and your pelvis is tilted so that the pubic bone is higher than the hip bones.
- Inhale as you raise your legs and tailbone up toward the ceiling.
- Exhale, lifting your hips and lower back next.
- Let go of your breath as you roll your spine down to settle between your shoulder blades. Roll one vertebra at a time, working down from your upper back to your lower back.
Kneeling Side Kick (20 Reps of 3 Sets)
- Start position. Kneel and bend the trunk to the side. Place one palm on the mat, with the fingers pointing away from the knee. Place the other hand behind the head, with the elbow bent and pointing toward the ceiling. Lift the top leg (the leg farthest from the support arm) to about hip height.
- Inhale. Bring the raised leg forward. See the main muscle illustration.
- Exhale. Bring the raised leg backward as shown.
Side Bend (20 Reps of 3 Sets)
- Stand tall with feet and legs together and reach both arms straight up overhead as you inhale.
- Lower your right arm down the right side of your body and exhale as you lengthen the left arm over the head, bending your body gently to the right.
- Inhale to return arms overhead to center and exhale as you repeat on the left side.
Double-Leg Stretch (20 Reps of 3 Sets)
- Lie faceup on the mat. Lift your head, neck, and shoulders and bring knees to chest, arms hugging shins. Inhale, then straighten your legs to a 45-degree angle while simultaneously extending your arms along your ears.
- Exhale and circle your arms down to hug your shins as you return to starting position.
- Keep your shoulders off the mat throughout and maintain even breathing.
Pilates consists of moving through a slow, sustained series of exercises using abdominal control and proper breathing. The quality of each posture is more important than the number of repetitions or how energetically you can move. Books yourself a qualified Pilates teacher or Pilates-trained physiotherapist to get the best results.
While you don’t need to be flexible, to begin with, as you develop your Pilates practice, you’ll notice that your range of motion improves as your muscles lengthen.
Whole Body Workout
The beauty of Pilates is that no muscle is neglected and you’ll truly be working every part of the body. Not only does Pilates target large muscles group, but it also works the smaller, rarely used muscles.
Focus on Core Strength
While Pilates works every muscle of the body, there is a particular focus on core strength and engaging those deep abdominal muscles. With every session, you’ll find your core muscles getting stronger and stronger.
Eases Back Pain
For sufferers of back pain, particularly lower back pain, you may find some welcome relief with regular Pilates practice as your core stabilizes and is better able to support your back muscles.
As you simultaneously improve your strength and flexibility in Pilates, you’ll find that your posture improves as you stretch and strengthen the muscles surrounding your spine.
Helps in Injury recovery
If you’re suffering from an injury that is making it difficult for you to exercise, Pilates could be the perfect solution and is the favored choice for athletes to assist with injury recovery.
Enhance Mind and Body Connection
In Pilates, you’ll learn how to use your breath to transition between the various movements. This helps you become more in tune with your body as you flow between each exercise. Pilates practice allows you to take time out and focus on yourself and your body. This can go a long way in reducing your stress levels.
Suitable for all Levels
One of the best things about Pilates is that it’s suitable for all levels, whether you’re new to exercising or a professional athlete. Simply let your teacher know where you’re at and they can modify where needed.
Lastly, the beauty of Pilates is anybody at any age can start this Programme.