Joining an online class for Pilates workouts is both exciting and terrifying, especially if you are a beginner. But once you are into the class and learn how to do Pilates, there is no going back. A versatile method of workout, Pilates is a great way to expand your horizon of fitness. If done the right way, it can be a game-changer for your overall health.
To ensure that you make the most of your Pilates workouts, it is essential to learn a thing or two about it before joining the class. Let us start with its introduction!
What Is Pilates?
Pilates is a form of low-impact exercise whose aim is to strengthen your body, boost muscle flexibility and align a better posture. The method was first discovered in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates. He also called it “Contrology”.
Usually, Pilates workouts last for about 30-45 minutes. Pilates workouts combine a number of exercises that involve stretching of legs, lower back, abdomen, hips and other core muscles.
Over the years, the workout became popular all over the world. Now, you can also find various types of Pilates workouts. The two most common ones are:
- Mat Pilates: As the name suggests, this Pilate workout can be done using just a mat. It is easy to perform at home, especially during online classes. Some of the popular mat Pilates exercises are bridging, abdominal curl, toe taps, bridging, clam, and bird dog.
- Reformer Pilates: This is a rather challenging form of Pilates that requires extra equipment that is known as the reformer. It is a machine that has a sliding carriage attached to a bed-like structure. You need extra care and supervision for this type of Pilates.
Why Is Pilates Good For You?
Knowing Pilates benefits makes it easy to stick to the daily routine of the class. It encourages you to strive hard even on days when you wish to skip the session. This is why, we have jotted the most coveted Pilates benefits you must know:
- Great For Full-Body Fitness
Each Pilates exercise in your workout is designed in a way that you get the chance to train your body as an integrated whole. The workouts focus on your core muscles and engage them to get more strength and flexibility.
- Boosts Flexibility:
A regular practice of Pilates is a great way to improve not just your body’s flexibility but also mobility. A Pilates exercise makes your body stretch and control the movements; thereby helping the muscles become more flexible.
- Develops Core Strength
A strong core means a strong back, good posture and efficient movements. You can ensure these by trying Pilate workouts that include abdominal exercises that boost the core strength and endurance as well.
- Improves Body Posture
By now, you must have realized that Pilates can also help you in improving your body posture. When your body’s structure is in alignment, it can also express itself with strength and harmony. What more? With better body posture, you have lesser chances of neck pain and lower back pain.
- Consists of Weight Loss Exercises
If you have been looking for some exercises to reduce belly fat, opting for an online class for Pilates is your answer. When done on a regular basis, Pilates can help in getting toned muscles and a lean body. However, make sure you don’t just try Pilates for weight loss. A good diet is also as important to reduce weight as Pilates exercises.
The list of Pilates benefits doesn’t end here. Some other ways it can affect your health are:
- Improves balance
- Boosts immunity
- Develops better focus and concentration power
- Strengthen bones
- Improves mood and sleep
Things You Require For A Pilates Class
While you do not really need special equipment for a Pilates class, there are a few things that can help you have a better experience. These things include:
- Mat: You need to have a Pilates mat that offers padding and cushioning when you perform any Pilates exercise on the floor. Do not confuse Pilate mats with yoga mats as the former is thicker and has extra padding for comfort.
- Water Bottle: This is to help you remain hydrated before the class begins.
- Comfortable Clothes: Pilates workouts consist of various exercises that require free movement of your body. Thus, make sure you wear airy and comfortable clothes. They should also not contain any extra zippers. The clothes should not be baggy but of the right fit so that the instructor can see the lines of your body and guide you about the correct postures.
- Towel: A clean towel is good to wipe away any sweat and stay comfortable during the workout.
- Socks: This is an optional thing but if you are someone whose feet sweat a lot, you can wear resistance socks for better grip and hygiene. There are special socks available in the market for Pilates workouts.
- Equipment: In case you are doing the reformer Pilates, you may also need resistance bands, weights, Pilates rings, etc.
What To Avoid?
Most Pilates classes are casual but there are a few things you should try to avoid:
- Avoid Wearing Jewellery: If you are wearing any bracelets, earrings, necklaces or belts, make sure you remove them. These can distract you and even cause injuries during the exercise.
- Don’t Skip Class Due To Muscle Burn: Whether you want to try Pilates for weight loss or to gain flexibility, it is important that you stick to the routine no matter what. During the first few days, your muscles will go sore and there will be pain due to stretching. But once you become habitual, these issues will no longer bother you.
- Avoid Heavy Meals: Since many Pilates exercises are based on abdominal movements, it is advised you should not eat a heavy meal before the class. Instead, try a healthy meal of fruits or mini snacks at least 45 minutes prior to the session.
Done reading? It is time to sign up for the Pilates workouts. Just keep striving hard and we are sure Pilates will become your health partner in no time!