You don’t have to spend a small fortune on gym memberships, or in home exercise equipment to get in shape. All it takes is dedication, a yoga mat and a quality beginner’s Pilates instruction guide to get you working out anywhere anytime. Here are a few basic tips to know before beginning your Pilates experience.
What is Pilates?
Pilates is an exercise routine that uses your body’s own weight and strength to tone and shape your muscles. Similar in many ways to yoga stances, Pilates incorporates stretching and strength training movement into a continuous flow of movements that increases the heart rate without putting added pressure on joints.
Where to Begin
To begin your Pilates session you will need a yoga mat, a comfortable place to spread out your yoga mat and do your Pilates routine and comfortable clothing that is not too baggy, but is also not tight. Loose or baggy clothing can interfere with certain positions and your ability to monitor your body’s positioning; while overly tight clothing will make certain positions feel uncomfortable. Baggy clothing could also be a tripping hazard when performing more complicated movements. When first starting out with Pilates, you will want a quality knowledgeable video or guide to walk you through the basic Pilates movements.
It is important to remember that at any point during your Pilates session if you feel intense pain or discomfort that you should stop performing that movement. As with any exercise regimen you should first check with your doctor to make sure it is safe for you to do the workout. You also want to keep in mind any injuries or medical issues that you may have so as not to aggravate already existing issues.
Benefits of Pilates
By using comfortable deep breathing techniques and core stabilizing movements you will receive a full body workout that lengthens, strengthens, and tones your entire body. Additionally, since Pilates is done similar to yoga with steady streaming flows of muscle group targeting movements you are not adding unwanted stress and pressure to joints and delicate soft tissue that can be injured during cardio exercises such as running, or aerobics.
Pilates also has the added benefit of being able to be performed anywhere at any time since the only requirements are a comfortable place, comfortable clothes, and a basic knowledge of a semi-challenging yet comfortable to perform Pilates workout routine.
In order to avoid injury and get the most out of your workout it is important to monitor your body positioning. You will also want to have a professional show you how to modify certain moves if you feel discomfort while performing those moves, or if you have previous injuries that could affect your ability to perform certain movements correctly.
Pilates is a great way to receive a full-body workout without added pressure on your joints and soft tissue, or spending a ton of money on equipment or gym fees as long as you have the proper guidance for your skill level, and know what type of possible warning signs to look out for as you perform your workout movements.