A Guide to Pilates
Pilates has entered the mainstream fitness arena. It emerged about a decade ago after a German gymnast, Joseph Pilates developed the fitness regime as a way to improve the physical fitness of injured war veterans.
Pilates is now popular with millions around the world. The Pilates system focuses on a combination of spine alignment, core strength and breathing in order to improve muscle strength and elasticity.
It comprises of a series of repetitive body movements as well as muscle contractions, stretching and co-ordinated breathing in order to promote strengthening of the entire body.
Yoga and Pilates are sometimes confused as some Pilates movements are derived from yoga. However, they are not to be misperceived as one in the same. While yoga takes on a more holistic approach that uses stating poses while concentrating on breathing and mental precision, Pilates is aimed at improving inner core strength with constant body movements, concentration and breathing.
Allan Menezes is founder of the Pilates Institute of Australasia and creator of the Menezes Method of Pilates. He says, ‘the benefits of Pilates are amazing, it will improve your spine and posture, increase your stamina, improve your core strength and abs, boost blood flow and massage internal organs.’
THE EXERCISE FORMULA
When commencing or performing any new or established exercise program, it is essential to follow some basic guidelines. For a completely new exercise regime that is totally new to your body, this is especially true. New exercise programs generally require more concentration and movements to which the body may have never been subject.
Concentration and effort is needed to work certain muscles and to maintain an almost perfect regime of such movements, a pattern for muscular development and perfection for that movement is needed.
For this to happen, a routine therefore needs to be established. Once this is achieved, then any new movements to the body, can be approached safely. You can perform their own 'self-check' as to the requirements, benefits, limits and dangers that your body may undergo.
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