Pilates is an exercise programme involving movements that boost core strength. It can be done on a mat, similar to yoga, or involve specialized equipment like the Reformer (which isn’t as scary as it sounds!) Either way, let your instructor know if you’re a beginner - they’ll be happy to help you out.
What does a Pilates session involve?
The movements in Pilates are usually done one after the other, with no repetitions. They have names, like ‘The 100,’ ‘Criss-Cross,’ the ‘Elephant,’ and the ‘Swan’ - and though they’re mainly core workouts, expect to feel the burn across your whole body. Learning all the new movements and their names may seem a little overwhelming at first, but you'll soon get the hang of it!
Benefits of Pilates
Pilates can improve your posture
To do Pilates properly, your body has to be aligned at all times. The exercises will improve your posture, helping you to stand taller and maybe even alleviate some back pain.
Pilates can improve your muscle tone
Your core isn’t just your abs, but your hips, thighs, and back too. You’ll be working all these muscles when doing Pilates, which will eventually lead to better muscle tone. This is especially great if you’re older or live a more sedentary lifestyle.
Pilates is accessible
This is one of the reasons why Pilates is so popular - whether you’re a gym regular or a newbie, the movements can be modified to suit your specific needs, which is great if you have some mobility issues but want to get more active.
Pilates can improve your awareness and wellbeing
A main principle of Pilates is the mind/body connection. By learning to control your breathing and focus on your movements, you become more aware of how these two things impact each other. This harmony and calm can improve your mental wellbeing.