In our vastness, the body and mind improvement system called Pilates has gained popularity relatively recently. First as a fashionable trend, and later due to its unique properties, it has become a must-see program for every major fitness center. Pilates compares favorably with other systems with its complex effect on the entire body and almost complete absence of any contraindications. Therefore, people of all ages and with any physical form can begin to strengthen the body with the help of Pilates.
Pilates – the history of its appearance
physical exercise was the German physician Joseph Pilates . Possessing very poor health from birth and not being able to engage in active sports, young Joseph, by the age of 14, had developed his own training system, which allowed him to overcome all childhood diseases and acquire excellent physical shape.
The very formation of Pilates as an independent system of physical development occurred already in the USA, where Joseph migrated in 1926. It was then that all the exercises he developed were systematized and combined into one program. After that, Pilates begins its victorious march around the world, gaining millions of fans.
Interestingly, the system created by Joseph Pilates turned out to be so effective and easy to learn that it was even included in the official program for the rehabilitation of wounded soldiers. It was also very well received by athletes who needed to keep their muscles in shape, avoiding gaining excess mass.
Basic principles of Pilates
Working with this system requires compulsory adherence to the basic principles laid down by its creator.
This is a prerequisite, without which it is impossible to achieve any significant result. Unlike other popular body development systems, Pilates does not emphasize active breathing techniques such as abdominal breathing. Breathing should be light and occur in a rhythm familiar to a person.
The main condition is to keep the abdominal muscles in tension so that they do not participate in the respiratory process. Ideally, breathing should not affect body position at all (involuntary movement of the abdomen, shoulder girdle, etc.).
The main task of the student is to create a stabilizing power belt in the abdomen. By maintaining the muscles in this area in constant tension, it is possible to reliably stabilize the entire spine, including the most mobile lumbar region. This condition is also very important, as some exercises can lead to injury if not met.
Self Joseph Pilates has repeatedly emphasized the importance of correct exercise technique. According to him, only a correctly set technique can guarantee the result of training, and one exercise performed correctly brings more returns than a whole set of exercises performed with errors. Therefore, all your attention should be paid to this.
This principle consists in absolute concentration on every movement. The student is required to mentally draw in advance his entire current program and implement it flawlessly without losing focus on the process for a second.
For Pilates, it is extremely important to achieve absolute control of the mind over the body. In this case, this is necessary so that the reflex actions of the muscles do not interfere with the correct performance of the exercises. Moreover, the whole process should be as natural as possible. Overexertion and pain in the muscles, as well as the need for increased control of breathing, indicate that muscle balance has not yet been achieved and the athlete has moved too quickly from simple exercises to complex ones.
This principle is similar to those on which traditional oriental gymnastics is based – all individual movements are performed as easily and smoothly as possible, as if flowing into each other. This allows you to keep muscle cells in good shape throughout the entire session.
Localization of the impact
The essence of this principle is to teach the body to use only those muscles, the participation of which is necessary for the exercise. Non-working muscles at this time should be in a static position and rest. Having fully comprehended this technique, a person learns to use the body’s energy resources as efficiently as possible, so further transition to more complex exercises is given to him without much difficulty.
In this case, quality is always preferable to quantity. It is better to flawlessly perform a few elementary exercises and this will provide faster progress than incorrectly performing difficult ones.
Regularity of classes
Frequency of execution exercise does not play a special role here. Classes can be held every day, three times a week, and for some, two is enough. The main thing is to do it systematically. When choosing a program, it is best to focus on your feelings. The body itself will tell you what load will be most acceptable for it.
Key benefits of Pilates
Benefits of the system Pilates is hard to overestimate. Its main advantage over traditional techniques lies in the deep study of all the muscles of the body, and without a noticeable increase in their mass and volume. When doing fitness or standard cardio or strength exercises, often the entire load falls only on certain muscle groups, while the smaller stabilizer muscles are completely without it.
In addition, Pilates is also a therapeutic therapy … This system is suitable for everyone and can significantly improve the quality of life for people suffering from scoliosis, osteochondrosis and other similar problems.
The most popular exercises
The Plank exercise for beginners
This is a kind of Pilates business card … This exercise is basic and based on it, many variations have been created, designed for people with different physical abilities – from “green” beginners to experienced athletes. The classic execution of the plank exercise consists of several steps:
- Leaning on your forearms, you need to get on all fours, placing your elbows exactly under your shoulders.
- Next, you need to stretch the body in a straight line leaning on your toes.
- Continue to hold the body in a given position.
- Try to suck in your stomach and hold yourself in a busy position until your breathing begins to go astray and your muscles get tired.
Exercise “Hundred” . The Hundred) for experienced athletes
This exercise is suitable for those who already have more or less good physical shape. Although it is not too fast, it works out the abdominal muscles with high quality, so those who want to get a good strong abs should definitely pay attention to it. The instructions for its implementation are as follows:
- You need to lie on your back and slightly raise your head.
- Pull your stomach in and stretch your arms straight in front of you.
- Bringing the feet together and stretching the socks forward, raise your legs at an angle of 45 degrees.
- Perform a series of short up-down movements, representing water strikes. In total, five repetitions are performed on inhalation and the same amount on exhalation.
A total of one hundred such movements are done, which is why, in fact, the name of the exercise occurs.
Tips for beginners
Can beginners practice Pilates on their own? We can immediately say that there are no contraindications in this regard. At the moment, on the World Wide Web, you can find a lot of photos and videos on this topic, so everyone can make up a program of action for themselves.
Although, of course, it is much preferable if the beginner performs the first exercises under the supervision of a qualified trainer. This will give him the opportunity to get a clear idea of the correct technique for performing the exercises, after which the classes can be continued at home. Also, the trainer is able to more adequately assess the physical capabilities of a person and select a set of exercises in such a way that the load increases evenly, ensuring constant progress.
As for equipment, the main condition for choosing is comfort. It is preferable to choose loose cotton clothes for classes. It is better to choose shoes as light as possible with a thin flexible sole, and if you wish, do without it altogether. Indeed, according to experts, barefoot training allows you to better influence active points and additionally strengthen the arch of the foot, increasing the return on exercise.
Pilates is, without exaggeration, a unique system of body development. Everyone who decides to try it for himself will get the most out of it, no matter who it is, a simple adherent of a healthy lifestyle or an experienced athlete. After all, the main purpose of Pilates is not to burn fat or “pump up” powerful muscles. The essence of this system is the harmonious development of the human body and the strengthening of its natural abilities for regeneration and recovery, therefore, by practicing Pilates, everyone can become stronger, more resilient and healthy.