myjourneyfromfattofit

April 27, 2011

Pilates

Filed under: Things I do to get fit a.k.a exercise! Eeek! — myjourneyfromfattofit @ 2:41 pm
 
Photo Credit: mountphysio.co.nz

Pilates first came about by way of Joseph Pilates, German born in 1880.  He developed this form of exercise as way to overcome his own disabilities and sickness, as well as to help soldiers returning from war rehabilitate.  Pilates is intended to develop strong, flexible muscles without building bulk and there is quite a bit of emphasis on using correct posture and technique.  Most people think of dancers when they hear the term Pilates, but over the years it has become quite popular with the average fitness minded person.

Photo Credit: sheknows.com

Pilates is a resistance exercise using your own body weight, not a cardio type exercise, however if you are out of shape like I am currently you will find yourself a little out of breath and sweaty at times.  Most times Pilates is done with specific aparatus (a.k.a. machines) but there are also plenty of movements that can be done with no equipment at home (a.k.a. mat work).  The dvd that I use requires only the use of a yoga type mat.

                         Photo Credit: todaysmotherhood.com

Two of the key elements of Pilates are core muscle strength and spinal alignment. The core musculature is loosely defined as the spine, abdomen, pelvis, hips, and the muscles that support these structures. Some of the main core muscles are the erector spinae (located in your back along your spine), the internal and external obliques (the sides of your abdomen), the transverse abdominis (located deep in your gut, this muscle pulls your belly button in toward your spine), the rectus abdominis (the “six-pack”), and hip flexors (in your pelvis and upper leg). (medicine.net 2011)”

The claims in support of this type of exercise are statements such as: improves posture, increases core strength, gives you longer, leaner muscles, no impact so it’s easy on joints, etc.  The research has neither proved nor disproved these claims. 

All I can say is that in my personal experience with this type of exercise in the past it has been helpful.  I found that I had less aches and pains, I had better flexibility and it without a doubt made me more aware of my own body.  I quite enjoy this exercise and feel that it has benefits for me personally, maybe you will find it is right for you too. 🙂

**The information in this post has been compiled from :  www.stottpilates.com, www.medicinenet.com,

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