How To Learn Pilates?
|Pilates History||Understanding the origin of Pilates helps appreciate how it works||Created by Joseph Pilates in 1880s for soldiers' rehabilitation|
|Pilates Purpose||Knowing the aim of Pilates guides effective practice||Build strength without bulk; enhance flexibility|
|Pilates Categories||Determines the suitable type for your condition||Matwork uses body weight; equipment work uses apparatus|
|Learning Methods||Affects how you proceed in learning Pilates||Take gym courses or private lessons|
|Matwork Class||Group sessions help you practice and learn more||Three times a week for 30-60 minutes|
|Private Lessons||Allows focused attention and personalized instructions||Ideal if progress is not achieved in group classes|
|Pilates Equipment||Determines the variety of exercises you can engage in||Fixed bars, the reformer, or the Cadillac|
|Safe Practice||Prevent injuries during Pilates sessions||Proper use of equipment and pacing of training|
|The Reformer||A versatile Pilates apparatus||Has baseboard, upright board, straps and springs|
|The Cadillac||An alternative apparatus for Pilates training||Small platform on a large one moved by a foot lever|
Nowadays pilates has become a popular form of physical exercise. Many people know that it is good for the lower back but they still do not really understand what pilates really means. It is not surprising because it's hard to find sources which will give you enough information on how to practice pilates properly, without giving too much away.
The idea of this article is to give an insight into what pilates actually is, why it works and how you can learn correct technique so you can apply it effectively in your day-to-day life. Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates (1880 - 1967) who was born in Germany and started his career as a trainer for boxers and dancers before moving to the USA during the first world war. He became well known in the States when he was appointed as a physical instructor for the rehabilitation of wounded soldiers during his time in the army.
The aim of Pilates is to strengthen your body without adding bulk, which you think would only happen if you went on a strict weight lifting programme or went running every day. The result are lean, stretched muscles but also joints that are stronger and have more flexibility. But how do you learn pilates? First , you might want to know what it actually involves before making up your mind about whether this is something for you or not.
There are two main categories in pilates: matwork and equipment work . Mat exercises use your own body weight for resistance, while using apparatuses which are sometimes combined with your own body weight. For both you need to use good technique, otherwise you will not get the full benefit of pilates exercises . So how do you learn pilates? Well, it does depend on where you start…
The first question is whether you want to take a course at your gym or if you prefer to have personal lessons. This might be because you are starting out form scratch and would like to have someone telling you what to do all the time, alternatively it might be that after some initial training sessions in your gym the instructor left unexpectedly and now no-one there can show you what to do any more. If this is your case then doing private lessons would be better because you could go at the time that suits you and fix any problems that might arise. If this also sounds like something for you then talk to someone at your gym who is responsible for organising lessons, or just check online if there are any pilates instructors in your city whom can travel to teach you privately.
Choose A Suitable Matwork Class
If, however, the instructor from your gym is still around but doesn't have enough time to give personal attention you should look into doing a group lesson where he/she will be present as well. Ideally these sessions would take place three times a week for between 30 and 60 minutes each. Any more than that and it becomes too much for most people's bodies which develop chronic pain , not to mention that you will not have time left for any other activities. In order to find the right class, talk to your pilates instructor and see what he/she recommends. If you want a more individual approach then private lessons are still an option but remember that you need to have enough progress over a course of several months, otherwise it's no good having a lesson every week if most of it is repeating what was already said before. Find a suitable matwork class in your area here.
For your own safety you should use proper equipment when learning or practicing pilates , with cheaper imitations usually being faulty . Ideally get yourself some fixed bars which can be attached permanently to two of the doorframes of your room, preferably on both sides of the room. This is enough for most matwork exercises and you can change some moves by using a couch or chair for support instead. However, if you also want to use some equipment then there are certain pieces that will come in very handy:
The reformer : one of the most popular apparatuses which splits into three parts: baseboard , upright board and straps . The springs at each corner provide more resistance than just gravity would and you can use the footbar to push against them as well as pulling with your feet as leverage. If there are no partitions between the springs at their bottom end they can be adjusted according to how strong they are. In order to avoid injury , avoid over-extending at the back and use a scarf for securing your ankles in place .
The Cadillac is an alternative to the reformer, designed with the same principles of training muscle control. It consists of a small platform on top of a larger one which can be moved up and down using a foot lever. However , it does not have straps but has handles instead which you can grip with both hands . This makes it possible to move freely without help from any other person, except that there is also no support available if you fall while doing the exercises.
Another piece of equipment often used by pilates instructors is The Wunda Chair (about 200 pounds). You sit on this apparatus like regular chair but then do certain mat exercises while being supported by the back of it. This requires a lot of control and balance to keep yourself upright while doing all sorts of different exercises. However, there are other pieces which are not so necessary but very fun to work with nevertheless:
The Magic Circle is an oblong ring made out of rubber with little circles attached to each side. You hold on to these handles while doing different moves in order to get your muscles working even harder or you can stand on top of it if you want more resistance while exercising . Another fun piece is The BOSU Balance Trainer (about 40 pounds) which is basically a half-inflated ball that stands on its end when all air has been let out. It works best lying down on the rounded part of it but can be used standing up as well for certain exercises.
The Yoga mat is extremely helpful to have around or at least a towel if you are not using one. You are working on the floor and therefore need something that absorbs sweat and prevents slipping; otherwise, your sessions will be very limited. However, if you weigh more than average then you would probably want to get a thicker mat like The Manduka PRO (about 20 pounds), which also has extra padding along the sides and back of its surface . It might seem costly at first glance but remember that this is an investment in yourself by helping to keep your exercise routine going even after losing weight or increasing muscle mass.
There are several different ways of learning pilates , including attending group sessions, 1-on-1 training and following certain home programs. The first two can be fairly expensive , especially if you choose courses at upscale celebrity gyms or fitness clubs . Other studios offer individual training for around $75 but it really depends on where you live as well as the reputation of the instructor. However, there are also quite a few online programs that require no equipment or visits to any studio, just your motivation to workout daily combined with their guidance. All these options have different prices attached to them so compare them before deciding which one is right for you:
Group lessons will probably start out cheap but become more expensive as you advance your knowledge . You can expect to pay around $15 at the lower end for a 45-minute class, but if it's a high-end studio then you may have to dish out up to $100 per hour. On the other hand , 1-on-1 lessons are usually more expensive because they are tailored specifically for YOU. The instructor has all his attention on just one client and not 4 or 5 people which allows for greater focus & individual guidance .
Online programs are usually cheaper because there is less overhead cost involved. However, this also means that they have fewer teachers available since each of them needs to be paid as well as being given insurance against any injuries that might occur during training sessions. It really depends on how much you are willing to pay for your pilates knowledge in the end .
Finally, you can't really go wrong with any of these options when it comes down to which is best . Group sessions are great because you get to work out with other people, make friends and keep yourself motivated. The same goes for 1-on-1 training since an instructor will give you advice on not only your physical movements but also nutritional habits over time. When learning online , it's just up to you if you want a simple program that doesn't require much guidance or step by step assistance from professionals . As long as you have something that works for your body type then there shouldn't be anything holding you back from starting a healthy lifestyle today !
I hope this article helped you in your quest for knowledge about pilates and how to utilize it efficiently in your daily life. Just remember that the most important thing is following through with a program; even if it's not perfect or doesn't turn out like you expected, you won't get anywhere unless you make an effort . So what are you waiting for? Pick up those weights and get fit today!
SHe is a graduate of Akdeniz University, Department of Business Administration. She graduated from the university with a faculty degree. It has contributed to its environment with its social responsibility project. She writes articles about business and its fields.