Incorporating Pilates into an existing exercise regime

Filed under: Pilates Features — Cathy on February 14, 2014

Pilates has been in existence for many years. It was founded by Joseph Hubertus Pilates, who opened his first studio in New York in the 1920s. Pilates is a great all-round exercise foundation for your routine, and is not discriminate of age or fitness level.

A popular routine used and praised by many to improve fitness levels and combat ailments due to its non-strenuous nature, Pilates has six main principles which, when you break them down, can be easily incorporated into an existing exercise routine.

• All Pilate’s exercises are obtained from the centre of the body – between the pubic bone and the lower ribs

• By demonstrating full commitment to each individual exercise and applying concentration, the maximum benefit will be derived from every movement

• All Pilate’s exercises use the entire body, meaning complete muscular control

• Each exercise builds calls for and builds on precision, refocusing your awareness during each movement

• Pilates exercises co-ordinate with each breath you take, so it is important to hone the technique of using full, deep breaths

• Pilates generates an energy that connects all parts of your body, allowing movements to happen with grace and ease

Once the basics of Pilates have been learnt, you can continue with a Pilates-only routine or incorporate it into an existing exercise regime. Whichever you choose, beneficial results can be noticed quite quickly, as your core muscles lengthen and become well-conditioned, which can reduce any muscle aches, particularly in the back area.

A Pilates workout has the advantage that it targets your entire body, giving it an efficient ratio of time to results being felt and seen. In order to maximise the results and to get the best out of your workout, some people incorporate an additional form of cardiovascular session up to three times per week. Including a nutritional, well-balanced diet can help to reduce body fat and further show off the long, lean muscle that your combined Pilates and cardiovascular exercise regime is helping you to achieve.

Pilates for professionals

Pilates is now an important part of the fitness regime of many professional sports teams and athletes, due to the total body conditioning the routine can provide. When looking to improve their game, by incorporating Pilates they can help to identify weaker muscle groups to focus on, allowing the instructor to create a personalised and targeted workout which, in turn, complements the existing exercise routine. This should then reduce the potential for injure further in an individual’s career.

Even if you have never attempted Pilates before, there’s no better time to start. With a wide variety of classes for both beginners and the more seasoned participants – along with a wide variety of equipment and teaching methods – there really is something for everyone. Incorporating Pilates into an existing exercise regime may enable you to take your fitness and wellbeing to the next level. By correcting muscle imbalances, reducing pain and building on strength and flexibility, Pilates is a safe activity that targets the entire body.

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Charlotte Hopkinson