When it comes to exercise trends, yoga is perhaps the most popular regimen for relaxing and strengthening the mind and muscles. However, Pilates may be able to help you reap the benefits of yoga while focusing more on developing your core (ab and back) muscles.
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a system of mind-body exercises, developed by gymnast Joseph Pilates, that first became popular in the 1960’s. Pilates exercises are meant to help strengthen your core abdomen area, while helping you to learn to breathe easy, be more flexible, and get leaner. Pilates exercises help improve:
- Quality of movement
- Proper breathing, to reduce stress
- Mind-body connection
- The strength in the center of your body, or “core”
- Length and strength of muscles to make you more flexible and less prone to injury
Pilates uses an established set of exercises, and sometimes special equipment, to improve movement and strength in the form of a fairly low-impact workout.
So how can I get started with Pilates?
Pilates, like yoga, is a very specialized set of exercises. Therefore, it is best to be trained by someone who knows Pilates inside and out to help you get started. To find a Pilates trainer or class near you:
- Visit a health or fitness club
- Visit a Pilates studio
- Check local fitness centers such as the YMCA
- Check wellness or rehab centers for resources on Pilates classes or trainers near you
Once you have mastered the basics, there are Pilates classes online, on DVD, and on demand that you can do at home to continue your journey with Pilates from beginner to advanced