Madonna, Miranda Kerr, Cindy Crawford, and Karlie Kloss have long been fans of Pilates. We’ll tell you why you should definitely become a Pilates addict now!
What is Pilates?
Defining the sport is not always easy even for those who do Pilates regularly. The method, which was invented by Joseph Hubertus Pilates at the beginning of the 19th century, is a holistic full-body workout that primarily trains the so-called powerhouse, i.e. the muscles around the spine, pelvic floor and stomach. Breathing and movement are brought into harmony.
Above all, the exercises focus on concentrating on the movements: They should be performed in a focused manner. The aim of the method is to unite body and mind and to strengthen endurance and flexibility.
What is The Difference Between Pilates and Yoga
Pilates and yoga are often mentioned in one sentence. Because the spirit has a special place in both. However, the two should not be confused – starting with the historical background and the education. While Pilates is a comparatively new method, yoga is based on a millennia-old tradition that originated in India. In contrast to Pilates training, which is still about physical fitness despite the concentration on breathing, the focus in yoga is on inner calm rather than muscle building. In practice, this means: Pilates exercises are often repeated, yoga exercises are held for a long time.
And the training also differs significantly from one another: there is a separate training for almost each of the many yoga practices, but there is no fixed training for Pilates, which is why many trainers worldwide give very different courses.
What Pilates Does – 11 Benefits:
1. Pilates Improves Posture
The secret of a great charisma lies above all in a graceful posture. And you get that through Pilates, because it strengthens and mobilizes the core of the body, the powerhouse – and thus also the lower back. After just a few exercises you will stand upright, sit more straight and look more elegant.
2. Pilates Helps You Do Other Sports
Pilates trains coordination, strength and balance and is mainly used by ballet dancers as floor training. But Pilates is also good training for other sports that require strength, balance and flexibility. It also trains body awareness and thus helps to recognize possible weaknesses in movement sequences, to prevent injuries and to perform exercises better because more consciously – and thus to achieve better results.
3. Pilates Works Against Cellulite
Regular Pilates training refines the complexion and counteracts cellulite or reduces existing orange peel. Special Pilates exercises such as fascia training even have a very targeted effect against cellulite and help to achieve a more beautiful, finer complexion.
4. Pilates reduces stress
Any kind of exercise helps to reduce stress, because the body releases endorphins, i.e. happiness hormones, during exercise. Specific breathing exercises, which are used in Pilates to stretch and strengthen the muscles, further promote relaxation.
5. Pilates helps you lose weight
As a full-body strength training, Pilates strengthens the muscles (more muscle mass burns more calories – even when you are resting). It also stimulates metabolism and blood circulation. The body burns around 300 calories in a Pilates class. Pilates pros can burn up to 500 calories per session with a more demanding workout.
6. Pilates Can Be Done at Home
Pilates is suitable for every fitness type and can be practiced anytime, anywhere. There is no need for special equipment or an expensive subscription to classes in the gym – the exercises can simply be performed at home.
7. Pilates Relieves Back Pain
Pilates trains and loosens the entire lower back and hip area. This provides more mobility and alleviates or prevents back pain.
8. Pilates Trains The Arms
Even if Pilates primarily trains the core of the body, i.e. the powerhouse, the upper arms are also indirectly strengthened. On the one hand, the following applies: arms and legs can only be moved effectively when the center of the body is strong. On the other hand, Pilates also strengthens the muscles of the shoulder joints and the more trained they are, the more weights you can lift in classic strength training – which in turn ensures well-toned upper arms. The best thing: Even newcomers to Pilates will see success after a short time.
9. Pilates Gives You a Tough Butt
Knackpo like J.Lo? No problem with Pilates! During the training, the entire body is used, not just individual parts. In this way, ALL exercises also train and shape the buttocks muscles.
10. Pilates Achieves Success Quickly
“After 10 sessions you feel better, after 20 sessions you look better and after 30 sessions you have a completely new body,” said Pilates inventor and trainer Joseph Hubertus Pilates in the 1920s about the completely new type of training. And it’s really true!
11. Better Sex Thanks to Pilates
Pilates is a full-body workout that primarily trains the deep-seated muscles – including the pelvic floor. This is exactly where the Pilates sex secret lies: Those who exercise the pelvic floor regularly ensure better blood flow to the muscle tissue. Orgasms can be brought about more easily and experienced more intensely. Men also get their money’s worth, because a woman with a trained pelvic floor, which she tenses during sex, offers him a more intense feeling.
Pilates Exercises: That Is What Matters
Originally Joseph Hubertus Pilates wrote a classic mat program with almost 40 exercises. In the meantime, however, they have been changed, modulated and adapted – for example in the execution or in the breathing rhythm. However, they are all based on six basic principles that play a major role in the method:
- Concentration / attention
- Movement precision
- Flow of movement
Exercises With The Pilates Ball
A Pilates ball is the perfect tool to intensify your training – regardless of whether you are training your back, stomach or legs. An exercise that strengthens the powerhouse and becomes even more effective with the ball: the single leg bridge.
For the method, you lie on your back, your palms are next to your upper body and point towards the floor, your legs are bent on the mat. Now you clamp the Pilates ball between the lower and upper thighs of your right leg and squeeze it tight enough so that the ball doesn’t fall out. In this position, raise and lower your buttocks for a few reps, then do the whole thing on the left side.
Exercises With The Pilates Ring
The fitness tool is a ring with two handles. This is often used in training to clamp it between the arms or legs during exercises and thereby strengthen the effect. An exercise in which legs and buttocks are trained and for which only a chair is otherwise needed are the standing donkey kicks.
To do this, stand in front of a chair, tilt your upper body forward and brace your outstretched arms on the seat. Then you clamp the ring between the back of your right lower leg and thigh so that it doesn’t fall out. In this position, you now move your right leg up until the knee is roughly level with your upper body. After a few repetitions, do the same thing on the other side.
Exercises With The Pilates Roll
A Pilates roll is not to be confused with a fascia roll, although they are in fact very similar. The former differs in that it is significantly longer. Nevertheless, it can be used to relieve tension in the back and the like. The muscles can also be trained, like with the Tendon Stretch.
As the term suggests, the tendons are stretched during the exercise. To do this, sit on a mat with your legs stretched out and your back straight. Now place the Pilates roll under your lower legs and support yourself with your arms so that your bottom is in the air and at the level of your legs. For the stretch, move your buttocks backwards so that your lower legs roll on the roller. Through the movement and the posture, you not only stretch the tendons, but also tense your muscles.