Get the Most Out of Your Pilates Exercise

pilatesYou need strength, control, concentration, alertness, flexibility, shape, and alignment to achieve the perfect body you have been dying to have. You can get these wonderful characteristics by using your determination and strong mind, by weaving Pilates into your life.

What is great about Pilates is that everyone, including fitness buffs and couch potatoes, can do it. But there are some guidelines that you must follow if you want to maximize your Pilates exercise.

Focus, focus, focus

Concentration is key in Pilates. This workout is specifically designed to combine your body movements with your breathing rhythm. A certified instructor can teach you how to make your breathing work in conjunction with your exercises. The instructor will also teach you how to concentrate on your muscles.

Comfort is crucial

Wear comfortable clothing in your Pilates class, as you would for a yoga session. Tights or shorts and a tank top or T-shirt are good clothing choices. Also remember that, in most Pilates classes, shoes are not required. In addition, if you are getting uncomfortable, feeling strained, or experiencing pain, then you should stop.

Follow a natural flow

You should avoid quick and jerky movements when you do Pilates. Follow a natural flow. Body movements should be slow, yet flexible and strong. As a dancer, the founder of this workout, Joseph Pilates, designed the exercise to flow like a dance. You know you are doing it wrong if your movements are erratic or bouncy.

Do not forget your heart

If you are not a big fan of sweating while working out, Pilates is for you. But you can modify the exercises to pump your heart. Since Pilates is first and foremost about flexibility and strength, you can pair this workout with aerobic exercises such as brisk walking, biking, or swimming.

Overall, Pilates is a great workout as it focuses on the strength of your "powerhouse" or "core" – which includes inner thighs, buttocks, lower back, and abdominal muscles – without building muscle bulk. Pilates has some great fitness and health benefits, including body shape and alignment, flexibility, posture, muscle tone, slimming effects, and renewed energy. This workout also enhances mental alertness and relieves stress and anxiety.

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