The Reformer : An essential pilates exercise equipment

Pilates practitioners understand that it takes a lot of effort to get the desired results from Pilates program.

One must be committed and constantly strive to practice the routines until mastery is achieved. Pilates is not just any cardiovascular exercise where you can mindlessly run on an oval track. Instead, it is a unique form of exercise where you must focus your mind to control body movements. Aside from the mental discipline required to perform Pilates, there are also some traditional equipment that avid Pilates followers must know. This important pilates exercise equipment is known as the Reformer. This article would thoroughly discuss the importance of a Reformer in acquiring that Pilates sculpted body. A lot of people who see a Reformer for the first time assume that this pilates exercise equipment was used to torture people during the medieval times. Actually, the reformer is known as the Universal reformer or the rack. Picture your self squeezing in a contraption that occupies 3 by 8 foot space which is not really that big. Then, wrap your toes around a bar and cling to a pair of leather handles which you have to pull back and forth. It seems strange or even impossible that such pilates exercise equipment can really create a leaner body for you.

Seriously,this bedlike platform which slides back and forth enables Pilates lovers to perform numerous types of exercises through several positions like lying on your back, on your knees and even standing.

Like the mat, this unique pilates exercise equipment is as good as the Pilates mat for beginners. Nowadays, a large number of fitness buffs believe that they can only acquire decent resistance training by lifting weights in the gym. Nonetheless,the reformer is more functional and versatile than gym equipment which can really make your body exercise in a safe manner. Among the benefits of using a reformer are proper body alignment, better blood circulation, improved enhanced endurance, total work-out for the vertebra, stretched spine and many more. It’s really a total body work-out that would not only make you toned but build balance and muscle control. Indeed, the reformer is a vital pilates exercise equipment that a beginner must learn to love. To check out different reformers, browse online and see what fits you most.

The importance of Pilates ring exercises

One of the wonderful things about Pilates is that only a handful equipments are needed so practitioners do not require a large space when performing the routines.

To be more specific, the most likely equipments that you need are pilates ring and pilates mat. The pilates mat prevents you from slipping on the floor and cushioning your body in some movements. Plus, it enables you to move easily even on a hard floor. Another important equipment – the pilates ring, also known as the magic circle can provide resistance in some routines. Pilates rings have different resistance levels depending upon a users skill level. Nevertheless, it is a versatile but affordable tool which normally costs less than $30 and available at any fitness store.

Pilates ring exercises can be performed to supplement the basic routines in a pilates program.

Normally, pilates ring exercises are used by practitioners of Windsor pilates. It can be effectively used in toning several areas of the body creating a sculpted and lean look. It’s not necessary to go the gym to for resistance training and feel soreness afterwards. Likewise, pilates ring exercises can do away with heavy equipment to grow your muscles. This doesn’t mean that there wouldnt be any muscle soreness after doing pilates exercises, however, the pain is tolerable since the magic circles resistance level can be adjusted. As you increase strength, the level of pilates ring exercises can also be changed.

Another convenient feature of pilates ring exercises is that you can work-out anywhere you go. Even during vacation, you can exercise using pilates ring exercises wherever you go. There are numerous Pilates ring exercises DVDs that you can buy which makes your routines easier to follow. You can also look for videos online that shows sample of pilates ring exercises so you can see whether your’e using the pilates ring the right way. Some pilates classes also require students to use pilates ring since they normally integrate pilates ring exercises in their routine to keep it interesting. You have to diligently practice your pilates ring exercises in order to achieve the results you want. No matter how functional an equipment maybe, persistence is still the key to the success of an exercise program.

The benefits of Pilates exercise for the body

A large number of health fitness enthusiasts worlwide have been practicing Pilates. Different forms of Pilates such as Stott pilates, Winsor pilates and yogilates have evolved. Actually, individuals go for this exercise program since the benefits of Pilates are really remarkable which would be discussed in this article. As a brief overview, Pilates was named after its creator -Joseph Pilates, who was a sickly child in Germany who wanted to gain stregth. The main goal of pilates then was to help patients with limited mobility to recover strength. The benefits of pilates then were mainly therapeutic in nature since they were aimed at strengthening the body. Pilates exercises can be accomplished through by using the mind to control the body. This is why pilates was originally known as Contrology. Now that you have a short background of pilates, learn more about the advantages of pilates exercise for the body.

To begin with, a well toned and strong core is one of the benefits of pilates exercise for the body. Our modern living puts us all at risk to several muscoskeletal injuries because we often work in front of our PCs. As a result,we experience back ache, stiff neck and stiff shoulders that can be only be prevented by having correct posture and strong back. Benefits of pilates develops includes a strong core since most of the routinesare performed using abdominal contractions. Once you have built a strong midsection your back would be stronger. Plus, this also avoids rounding off the shoulders since you have to maintain correct symmetry in pilates.

The benefits of pilates are many, aside from having a strong core, you can have a leaner body. The program is actually a total body workout which can help you tone different parts of the body as well. There are certain positions that require you to support your body well using your core section. The benefits of Pilates are visible after 10 sessions as evidenced by your toned body. Aside from that, practitioners of pilates claim that they are more focused and mindful of their tasks. Indeed, the benefits of pilates are not just for physical development but mental health as well.

Join pilates classes to have a total body work-out

All over the world, many fitness lovers are curious about Pilates ever since it became a famous exercise program. As compared to other exercise programs, it is not aimed at increasing cardiovascular fitness like running. On the other hand, it is concerned with performing body movements using your mind. Intense focus is needed to execute Pilates routine since proper breathing and correct body alignment is a must. It can be said that it is quite similar to yoga since it’s done gradually using controlled movements and breathing. The main focus of pilates classes is to develop flexibility, strength, balance and coordination. Moreover,all you need are few materials to perform your work-out. These materials are Pilates mat, magic ring and comfortable outfit. If you have the complete materials, then read on why you should attend Pilates classes.

Build strength.Pilates is great for building strength which starts from having a strong midsection.Core training is the emphasis of Pilates classes where you have to perform routines using your abdominals. Stretching and resistance training is heavily incorporated in the exercise itself which is why joining pilates classes is like joining a gym but not lifting heavy weights. Bulky muscles would be a thing of the past and you will have more toned and leaner muscles.Increase stamina. This is the main rationale why many athletes include pilates in their exercise program. Mahority of sports activities require endurance particularly during training season. Daily, people need stamina in doing the tasks assigned to them which can include sitting long hours in front of the computer or walking some distance. Regardless of the task, increased stamina prevents you from feeling fatigue easily.

Added flexibility. As people grow older, they lose flexibility which is their bodies ache. Enrolling in pilates classes can add flexibility so you can prevent injury from sudden turns or movements. Pilates makes the muscle fibers longer thereby making a person more flexible and experience less muscle soreness. For this reason, many dancers also do pilates.

Build balance. Many individuals often underestimate the value of balance but having the right balance especially for women protects them from having accidents resulting from slipping. Also, people who play basketball and other sports need balance to prevent injuries.

Indeed, joining pilates classes is one great way to totally improve your appearance and make you stronger too.

How to perform pilates exercises for beginners

Health and fitness lovers who are interested in trying pilates are excited to perform the routines they have watched on TV shows or public advertisements. However, similar to any fitness program, there are several things one must prepare in order to perform the exercise properly. You must wear comfortable but not loose clothing that would allow you to perform the routine. Purchase a good pilates mat that’s at least ½ inch thick since it would serve as your cushion against the floor. Select a quiet place where you can do pilates exercise for beginners that would enable you to focus on to the routines. Once you have the equipment and selected a good location, try performing the pilates exercise for beginners: Warm Up – Almost all exercises begins with a proper warm-up. Beginning with stretching is always good for warming up. In the case of pilates exercise for beginners, you can start the warm up by lying on your back. The most essential thing that you have to learn is the neutral position which is a must for all pilates exercise for beginners. The neutral position involves raising your knees with hip width apart and holding for a few seconds. Then, you gradually lay down your back on the floor again.

The Hundred This is the most fundamental pilates mat work that every beginner must do. The purpose of this exercise is to wake up the body and warm it up for harder routines later. Simply lie on your back and place your knees to your chest. It is important to curl your head and shoulders as you lift them up from the mat. Gradually reach for your legs at a certain level ( bent at 90 degrees). The arms must move upward and downward while breathing for five counts. Continue repeating for ten breaths. Perform ten times.

The Roll Up – Begin by lying down on your back. Raise your arms to the ceiling and slowly go all the way up. Keep in mind that you need to curl your head and shoulders as you roll your way up bringing your head towards your knees.Then, roll back to your original position and lie down with your arms reaching out.

How to get a Pilates Certification

Are you hooked into pilates exercises? Most likely you have attended basic pilates classes and have purchased numerous instructional materials such as books, brochures, DVDs . Surely, pilates has been responsible for your toned muscles and strong core which has made your body more flexible and strong. Your close friends have said good remarks about your physical appearance and the discipline that you have acquired while learning pilates. Now, you are aiming not only for a better body but for a Pilates Certification. Lately, you may be wondering where to start so you can start training for a Pilates certification. This is truly an exciting and worthy personal goal,for that reason, this article would give you pointers on how to acquire a pilates certification.

First of all, you need to make up your mind on what kind of pilates certification do you really want. At this time, you are most likely familiar with various schools of pilates like traditional or Stott pilates. You can compare the difference between the two and see what would fit you most. There are also several levels of certification but it would be best to start with a Pilates Mat certification. In most cases, pilates certification for Mat exercises range between $100-300. Once you have finished this mat pilates certification , then you can pursue the complete pilates certification that covers all the equipments. After selecting from all the options presented to you, it’s time to start looking for pilates certification classes.

A good start when looking for pilates certification courses can be done online. Once you collected enough information from websites, inquire if they offer lessons within your area. Be sure that you ask all the important information such as fees, schedule of classes, background of the instructors, equipments used, approach or method and how many students per class. It is highly preferable if you can check the certifying body behind the schools courses. The Pilates Method Alliance can assist you in your queries about pilates certification. This non-profit Pilates organization is aimed at standardizing Pilates industry. Such purpose is really good since the methods for teaching Pilates hasn’t been standardized yet and has caused many disputes until now. Until now, the best approach is to look for reputable pilates schools that offers pilates certification.

Examples of easy pilates ball exercises

There are millions of people who are avid pilates followers since this exercise gives many benefits such as strong core, toned muscles, leaner bodies and balance. Aside from professional athletes, dancers and celebrities, an ordinary individual can learn pilates in a short period of time. The only constraint that the average person encounters when learning pilates is the high cost of fees when attending pilates exercise class. Aside from the high price, not everyone has the free time to attend pilates class because they need to work. The best option that they have is perform pilates ball exercises at home during their spare time. Once you have a Swiss ball and a pilates mat, you can follow the pilates ball exercises given below: Basic Abdominal curls Place the pilates mat on the floor. Lie on your back and gently roll the ball under your knees. The knees can slightly bend at a 90 degrees angle but not kept apart. Place your hands behind your head with elbows extended wide. Start inhaling and as you exhale, curl head and shoulders to lift them off the mat. Start inhaling while looking at your thighs, then exhale and go down to the mat. Concentrate on the breathing and do the routine gradually.

The Hundred Essentially, this is a key pilates mat work that every beginner must do well. The objective of this exercise is to wake up the body and warm it up for complicated routines later. Begin by lying on your back and placing the ball under your knees. Remember to curl your head and shoulders lifting them up from the mat. Stretch your arms at hip level and move your arms as though you were touching the floor. The arms should move upward and downward while breathing for five counts. Keep repeating for ten breaths. Repeat ten times.

The Roll Up Start by lying down on your back. Now, grasp the ball between your hands and place it over your head. Slowly raise your arms to the ceiling. and slowly roll all the way up touching the balls under your knees. Remember to always curl your head and shoulders as you roll your way up. Slowly roll back to your beginning position and lie down with your arms reaching out. Perform 6-8 times.

Essential pilates mat exercises for beginners

Pilates mat exercises are set of exercises that can be performed using a Pilates mat. As a beginner in pilates, you have to understand that you must first learn how to stabilize your body before you can do complicated pilates. When you stabilize the body before performing any moves, you are in a way warming it up and protecting it from any injury. Stabilizing the body requires you to do some fundamental pilates mat exercises which can go a long way in strengthening your body and building control. There are some essential pilates mat exercises that you must master in order to gain the full benefits of a pilates program for beginners. Dont be deceived thinking that pilates mat exercises are easy, in fact, they can really be challenging enough. Now, get that pilates mat and start doing the following routines: Spine to Mat This is very necessary and highly important. To begin with, lie on your back. Try to raise your legs in the air with your toes reaching for the ceiling.You would feel that your back’s vertebra is sinking to the floor as your spine is being stretched. Slightly lower your legs to the floor and if you observed that your back started to arch up, then your abs are still weak. This is a simple way but easy way to check if your back is already strong.

Spine peeled off from the mat Since you now learned how to anchor your spine to the mat, it’s time to peel it off from the mat. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.This is known as the neutral position. Place your hands on the back of your head with your arms to the sides. Inhale through the nose and slowly lift your back lifting the pubic bone. Hold for two seconds then exhale as you slowly lower your back on the floor. Feel each vertebra as it touches the floor. Inhale slowly. Repeat for three times.

It is recommended that you do the given basic pilates mat exercises as basic warm-up. Placing your body in a neutral position assists in correctly aligning your vertebra so you can safely proceed with other routines later on.

An introduction to pilates exercises

There are hundreds, if not thousands of exercise methods that have become popular for the last century. A great number of exercises normally target goals on shedding pounds or gaining muscles which at sometimes can be contradicting. Aerobic exercises are good for cardiovascular endurance but not ideal for building strength. On the opposite, muscle building exercises really help increase strength but not really for enhancing endurance. Worse, you can become too skinny when you run a lot or get bulky lifting heavy weights. Because of this, pilates exercises can be a complete work-out since it provides a complete approach that tones the muscles and help lose weight.

Actually, pilates exercises were really used as therapeutic measures for bedridden patients or people who have limited mobility. The designer of pilates exercises himself – Joseph Pilates was a frail child who had to go through hours of physical training to make himself stronger. Joseph Pilates,a German, had a firm belief that the mind can control the body which is why pilates exercises were known then as Contrology. Aside from doing pilates exercises that required focus and control all the time, Joseph also designed some apparatuses that can really challenge the body. The two most well-known traditional pilates exercises apparatuses are the chair and the reformer. Such equipments can tone and align your body properly,however, they really do resemble medieval torture equipments.

Pilates exercises are religiously performed by followers since it helps them increase strength, gain flexibility and significantly control body movements. As a result, the person would develop toned muscles and a strong core that adequately supports the back. Actually, some of the original clients of Joseph Pilates were ballet dancers who needed recovery from injured muscles. Today, mastery of pilates exercises can be acquired by joining health clubs or pilates organizations. Newer forms of Pilates exercises have evolved such as yogilates and Stott pilates which have their origins from traditional pilates. There are many books on pilates exercises as well as DVDs that you can buy in case you find the fee for a pilates class very expensive. As word of caution, always begin with the basic steps and seek your doctor’s advice first before trying pilates exercises.

A Beginner’s guide to Pilates Mat work

Pilates is a very popular exercise that millions of fitness enthusiasts have followed. A good reason behind this is that it helps you build a strong midsection for better core control. Having good core control equates to a strong back as well as abdominals. Admittedly, a lot of individuals are having a hard time fitting exercise into their busy schedule. A lot of individuals work in front of the PC for most part of the day that results to certain ailments such as back ache, frozen shoulders and stiff neck. Because people are busy and have limited space to exercise, pilates mat work can be good.

Pilates mat work is convenient and easy to do since all you need is a pilates mat. A suitable pilates mat must be at least a half inch thick to act as cushion against the hard floor. It must be firm and not soft so it can fully support your body.Lastly, it must be long and wide enough so you can safely do all the pilates mat exercises. Buy roll up pilates mat that you can bring to work so you can exercise during lunch break. After selecting a good pilates mat, it’s now time to do the following basic pilates mat work:

The Hundred This is the most basic pilates mat work that every beginner must learn. The goal of this exercise is to wake up the body and warm it up for more intense routines later. Simply lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest. Never forget to curl your head and shoulders lifting them up from the mat. Then, slowly reach your legs to a certain level (bent at 90 degrees). Stretch your arms at hip level and move your arms as if your beating the floor. The arms must move upward and downward while breathing for five counts. Continue repeating for ten breaths. Perform ten times.

The Roll Up Begin by lying down on your back. Raise your arms to the ceiling and gradually roll all the way up. Never forget to curl your head and shoulders as you roll your way up placing your heads towards your knees.Then, slowly roll back to your first position and lie down with your arms reaching out.