A complete guide to understanding pilates

A complete guide to understanding pilates

Many options appeared when we got locked at home due to the pandemic. Pilates is one of them, and a very effective one, by the way. If you are just taking your first steps in this discipline, you can take into account some ideas and start on the right foot.

For those who are having the first contact with the discipline, Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates. It contributes to keep physical and mental well-being and aims to stretch, strengthening, and balancing the body with the help of breathing. For a good start, here you have some basic exercises. You will only need a mat.

Roll up is easy but effective.

Roll up

It works the abdominal area, improves back flexibility, and develops stability, mobility, and strength of the spine. 

  1. Lie on the floor with your arms stretched line with shoulders. Keep your legs together.
  2. Inhale and stretch your arms upwards.
  3. Exhale while you raise your torso slowly, with your arms stretched out, as if trying to reach your feet. Make this movement slowly.
  4. When you reach a C form, repeat the exercise backwards, exhaling while you return to the initial position. 
  5. You can repeat it  3-5 times.
Spine stretch helps to improve spinal articulation. // Ph: Yanalya

Spine stretch

This exercise helps to improve spinal articulation, stimulates trunk balance, and benefits the flexibility of the muscles in the back of the leg. Besides, it is very easy and everyone can do it.

  1. Sit down on your mat with your legs stretched and keeping your back straight.
  2. Inhale and stretch the spine.
  3. Place your arms upwards.
  4. Then, move your arms forward, in the same line of the shoulders.
  5. Exhale and stretch your arms towards your feet forming a 'C' with your torso.
  6. You can inhale once more to try again stretching your arms more and then exhale to get to the initial position.
It is a well-known and simple exercise.

Pushups

This one is more common, but you can do it maintaining your concentration and keeping an eye on your breathing. Also, remember to keep your balance.

  1. Lie face down on your mat.
  2. Place your knees on the mat and then your hands, standing on four points.
  3. Remember to keep your back straight, in line with your head and your arms shoulder-width apart.
  4. Make the pushups slowly. You can also straighten your legs for more intensity.

4 accounts you can follow to continue your routine at home

1. Pilates On Demand

With some instructors, you will be able to access different exercises to keep practicing Pilates. There are also short videos and routines for pregnant women. 

2. Gaia

This is another option when looking for Pilates' exercises. There are some routines that will help you improve your back and also work abs, buttocks, and hips. This account also offers meditation classes if you want to complement your activity.

3. Amaia Fit

Amaia Fit designed some routines for those who had to quarantine. For example, she created one in which the key element was a chair, something we usually have at home.

4. Maria Plaza Carrasco

As well as Amaia Fit, she also created some routines to do during the lockdown. The Spanish trainer also made a 15-day program.

Yoga or Pilates?

Both Yoga and Pilates contribute to physical and mental well-being. They also help to achieve the mastery of being aware of the here and now. However, they have some differences. While Yoga is a system used to achieve a balance between body, mind, and spirit, Pilates is a discipline that combines stretching, strengthening and balancing the body with the help of breathing.

The main difference between them is that Yoga persues more flexibility, and mental and physical relaxation, while Pilates aims at gaining strength and muscle tone. 

However, there are no restrictions to combining these disciplines, except personal limitations. They complement each other very well, and you can take advantage of both. You will be able to work harder on your concentration and your breathing and improve your posture, elasticity, and balance. 

emember these disciplines do not include aerobic exercises, so you should add another type of activity if need, but you will be training many muscles for sure. 

Now that you know the benefits Yoga and Pilates, you can combine both in your workout routines.

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