If you have been looking for an exercise program, which would help you to stay well physically and mentally, Pilates is something that is worth a shot. It refreshes you and significantly changes the way you look, feel and perform. Your strength increases and your body looks sleek, toned with slender thighs and a flat abdomen. During the course of pilates exercising you will develop good posture and light, graceful movement. Imagine the change you want and go for it!

What is pilates?

Pilates was developed in the 1920 by the physical trainer Joseph H. Pilates who also founded The New York Pilates Studio. It is the exercise system focuses on stretching, strengthening, and balancing your body. pilates is a sequence of systematic exercises combined with breathing patterns that when performed regularly proves to be very effective fitness program but as physical rehabilitation of various types.

Pilates himself called his method “The Art of Contrology”. The key element of the term is “contrology,” which expresses the main idea of how the method works: through the use of your mind you can control the muscles. This exercise system is designed to improve core postural muscles the main function of which is to help keep body balanced and provide support for the spine. Pilates exercises are extremely effective while teaching awareness of neutral alignment of the spine. Since it helps strengthen the deep postural muscles and spine, it helps alleviate and prevent back pain.

Pilates effectiveness

If practiced regularly and carefully, pilates can be beneficial in a variety of ways. It not only improves your outer looks, but also contributes to your health. It helps to increase lung capacity and improve circulation with the help of deep breathing exercises performed alongside to physical exercises. In addition to strength and flexibility of abdomen and back muscles, it helps to advance your muscular and mental coordination, i.e. posture and balance. Furthermore, your bone density and joint health improves significantly. Pilates  brings some discipline to your life which makes you more orderly and better organized not only in physical activities or health related behavior, but work, family and other spheres of everyday life as well.

Pilates equipment

To a certain extent, pilates equipment does not differ much from the one that was suggested by its creator, J. H. Pilates. It still has maintained the structure that suits people with different physical needs.

Pilates equipment

People who want to improve their physical and mental shape use “Matwork” and those who have physical injuries or other disabilities might prefer working with a reformer. Pilates exercises find their way to help in many tough situations.

Springs, straps and frames are still as important in pilates as they were in 20s. Mat exercises have not changed much from that time and is still very much in favor by people who are enthusiastic about improving their flexibility and posture. A reformer is now a modernized resistance-based device that has a moving carriage built into a wooden or metal frame and slides both ways in it. Springs and ropes still help assist and resist when exercises are performed while lying, kneeling or standing. Straps help to hold hands or feet depending on the exercise, and hard back, shoulder and neck supports are necessary too. Equipment even though very simple is yet tremendously useful for both challenging and supporting the body as it practices how to more efficiently.

Pilates exercises

Here are some pilates exercises that are simple and easily performed by almost anyone. Try them yourself and see that Pilates is actually working!

The Ballerina Arms

Sit on the mat with your legs crossed. Imagine a wall behind your back and straighten the spine as is you would be resting against it. Protect the shoulder in its socket by bending the elbows at a 90 degree. Take the arms back in order to connect the shoulder blades. Move your arms down so that the shoulder blades would slide slightly down your spine. Gently raise your bent arms above your head similarly to the way a ballerina would (this is why the exercise is called like this.) Finish the exercise by moving your arms to the starting position – in front of you.

This exercise help to elongate your spine therefore do a repetition of three daily and in one weeks time you will notice a difference in the way you walk and sit.

The Roll Up

Lie down on your back. Keep your legs straight and arms stretched above your head, lower your shoulders. Try to keep your back flat on the floor, while you breathe in and slowly lift your arms towards the ceiling. As you breathe out, roll forward in a slow and gentle way lifting your spine from the mat. While doing so, keep your arms straights and eyes focused forward. Make sure stomach is taut, not crunched. Stretch out over your legs while breathing in again, and roll back slowly back to the floor as you breathe out. Do not make pauses, and while breathing in, roll up again, to start repeating the exercise. Repeat it for 10 times.