While other fitness fads may come and go, the Pilates method began in the 1930s. It took a brief break during the “go-go years of the 80s, when high-impact aerobics was “the thing.” Then, in the 90s, Pilates experienced a renaissance. Perhaps this was due to the injuries incurred in aerobic classes, or maybe, people were becoming more introspective. Whatever the reason, many people discovered the benefits of taking Pilates classes, which include:
- Improved posture
- Movement efficiency
- A flatter belly
- Relief from back pain
- Combines strength with flexibility
As such, many people make the wise decision to make Pilates a part of their daily routine. Although it’s possible to do a Pilates workout by doing a Pilates video, the best way to get started in Pilates is by taking a class with a certified instructor.
When you start researching Pilates classes, you will discover that there are many different styles and schools that do instructor training. Here are just a few:
Classical Pilates, also known as New York Pilates is most like the original Pilates method.
Winsor Pilates is similar to the classical method. However, creator Mari Winsor rearranged the sequencing to enhance the efficiency of the routine.
Stott Pilates is a Pilates-evolved technique that modernizes the exercises based on recent research in sports medicine and physical therapy. Aside from its well-developed Pilates mat and traditional Pilates equipment routines, the Stott Pilates program features Pilates exercise that can be performed on the bosu, stability ball or foam roller. Since this type of apparatus involves good balance, it involves even more core engagement than traditional Pilates equipment. As such, it is often used by athletes and dancers.
Doing it on your own
Once you start taking Pilates classes, your instructor might make you aware of your muscular imbalances and postural alignment issues. If you plan to practice your Pilates exercises at home, you might want to write down these corrections. If possible, do your Pilates routine in front of a mirror. To mimic the actions of the Pilates equipment, you can purchase bands, tubes, and a Pilates Fitness Circle. Additionally, there are many exercises on the stability ball that are similar to Pilates equipment exercises.
Some manufacturers make Pilates equipment like a reformer or stability chair that is suitable for home use. They come in a wide range of prices. However, quality may vary. Be sure to carefully research the product before you buy it.
Even if you do not plan to purchase Pilates equipment, it is still possible to make Pilates part of your daily routine. If you decide to do so, make sure to balance the muscle groups within your workout. That means to include a variety of movements such as spinal flexion, extension, and rotation. For example, if you perform the classic Pilates Hundreds exercise, which involves spinal flexion, make sure to balance the muscles with an exercise such as the Swan Dive, which accents spinal extension.
Pilates is a lifestyle
Remember that most Pilates instructors will tell you that Pilates is not just an exercise system: It’s a way of life. As go through your day, your body will remember to engage your core muscles and correct your posture the same way as you perform in pilates exercise. In this way, you can make Pilates a part of your daily life and benefit from better body mobility and less tension. Read this inspiring story about a woman who found her mental and physical strength through pilates to fight for her life!
If you are not sure where to start, contact today to make a custom workout plan tailored to your posture type, fitness goals and taking any past or current injuries and tension in your body if you have any. We are open to an online consultation and online training as well, so no excuses! In-person pilates classes are available in Milton, Halton, Georgetown, and Mississauga.