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Pilates Pilates
by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer Pilates is an exercise routine that combines strength and mobility work. It is a wonderful method that helps you... Pilates

by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer

Pilates is an exercise routine that combines strength and mobility work. It is a wonderful method that helps you tone and strength your body. It is also good for people with different level of abilities and fit ness.  If you decide to try this workout method you are definitely bound to see great results in less time than you expected.

There are a number of pilate classes to choose from such as classical pilates, contemporary pilates, clinical pilates, mat work, small props, studio work, group classes, private/semi private sessions, and even exercises that take their inspiration from pilates. Doesn’t matter which class you choose, just pick one and start making this part of your daily routine. You can find classes in almost any gym or even workout at home.

The success of Pilates is built around eight principals. pilates

  • Relaxation
  • Coordination
  • Alignment
  • Stamina
  • Concentration
  • Centering
  • Breathing
  • Flowing movements

These principals create the backbone of the workout and are interdependent upon one another.  This method combined with physiotherapy is a great treatment for injured patients. It helps them recover without placing stress on the joints.

Pilates also can enhance your performance in any sport or activity by training your body to move with intelligence and efficiency. In this workout you focus on the quality of movement not on the quantity of the movements.  This workout can help you build a strong and flexible body while improving your health. Other benefits are: a firmer butt, longer and leaner musculature, better posture, a flat stomach, less back pain, more flexibility and awareness, better balance and strength.

With so many benefits there shouldn’t be a doubt in your mind to why choose this exercise routine. Start by warming up.  I suggest you start my stretching by practicing the following exercises.

Supported Roll Back:  

Sit with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Place your hands behind your thighs and lift your belly in and up to curve your spine. Your shoulders should stay down. Move forward so that your head comes toward your knees, pressing your sit bones to roll your spine up to the sitting position.  Do 5-8 repetitions. This exercise will help you warm up your abdominal and back muscles.
Single Straight Leg Stretch: 

In this exercise you get to lie on your back with both of your legs extended facing the ceiling.  Lift your upper body and place your hands behind your thigh, calf or ankle, whichever you can reach comfortably. Then try to scissor your legs from each other.  Scissor evenly and change scissor your legs up, changing hands at the top to pulse your leg toward your face.

This exercise will help you warm up your hip joints and hip flexors while working your abs.
A Spine Stretch:

Sit straight and then slowly bend down trying to reach your feet, similar to folded blanket or towel position.  This is a great stretch for your back and hamstrings. After warming up you are ready to practice some pilate exercises.  Here are some of the exercises you can try that shouldn’t be difficult for you to start.

The Bridge Exercise:

Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor making sure your feet are not to close to your butt and not too far either. Inhale and then exhale. While you exhale come up high enough that your body makes a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Remember that you should be able to see your knees. While keeping the position inhale and exhale and squeeze your butt and belly. Maintain neutral spine as you come back down. You can try 5 repetitions.

Basic Cat Exercise:

First get on all fours and align your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips and relax your back so it can be in a natural position in a Neutral Spine. Inhale and slightly arch your back so your back is in a c shape. Continue by exhaling while you pull your navel in toward your spine and squeeze your butt. Allow your head to slowly drop forward. Finalize by inhaling while returning into a neutral spine. Try 4 repetitions.

I have mentioned only some of the various exercises that you can try when getting on a pilates workout method. There are numerous of different exercises. Remember to go one step at a time. Don’t put your self at risk and follow instructions while practicing your new pilates workout.