Pilates is an exercise system that was created in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates who was a German born gymnast. Pilates firmly believed that there was more to exercise than just the physical. He believed that there was a mind body connection. This has helped to contribute to the many Pilates yoga combination classes that are so prevalent these days. He wrote two books on his exercise system which is now regularly practiced by over 10 million people.
Pilates as a Strength Builder
Pilates is a very effective form of exercises for building strength in lower load muscles. Traditional strength training focuses on the larger muscle groups in the body which are responsible for carrying larger loads. Pilates tends to focus on the smaller muscle groups in the body which are primarily supporters. This is beneficial to traditional strength training. As a compliment to regular strength training Pilates helps to build the smaller supporting muscles and therefore help to strengthen the larger muscle groups in the body.
Pilates and Flexibility
Like yoga Pilates is believed to be largely effective in increasing flexibility in the human body. Pilates uses a variety of stretches to help elongate many different sections of the human body. This helps to make these sections more flexible. Flexibility is a huge component of both yoga and Pilates.
Equipment- Pilates Mat VS Pilates Reformer
There are a variety of different apparatus that go along with Pilates training. Many of these devices, such as the magic circle, were invented by Joseph Pilates himself. Others have only recently come along as Pilates has become more and more popular with mainstream culture.
Two very popular pieces of equipment in the Pilates circle are the mat and reformer. The Pilates mat is simply an exercise mat, like one would use in Yoga or aerobics. It lays flat on the floor and its primary purpose is to help the user maintain balance without slipping on the gym floor by providing extra traction.
The Pilates reformer is table like object that you use during your Pilates exercise. It provides resistance similar to what one would find with a rowing machine. Resistance is crucial to the benefits of Pilates.
No matter which device you use you are getting resistance. With the mat your body is the resistance, with the Reformer the attached pulleys and weights along with your body provide the resistance necessary to achieve the core training that can be provided by Pilates.
The truth is that both methods are perfectly acceptable forms of Pilates conditioning. Many people do find that they get faster results from the Reformer when it comes to Pilate’s strength training. Many gyms offer classes with the Reformer. This helps those who are specifically interested in trying out the Reformer a place to go. If you want to get the best workout possible then you may want to give a Reformer oriented class a try, however there are still a variety of benefits to sticking to the mat.
Pilates Work Out
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