Pilates are the rave with a lot of people. The Pilates method is used worldwide by all types of people from fitness friends and spa seekers, to performing artists and professional athletes. Pilates not only help you get in shape physically, by conditioning the body without hurting it, they help get in shape mentally and emotionally. Let’s take a look.
Started by gymnast Joseph H. Pilates (sounds like: puh-lah-teez) over 75 years ago, the Pilates method is made up of a series of exercises that focus in your abdominal muscles, mainly the deepest layer of muscles in your abdomen. History has it that Joseph Pilates developed the Pilates method as a rehabilitation for bed-bound patients during World War I at an English hospital when he was a nurse.
He initially attached springs to the patients’ mattresses so that they could use them in strength training, pull and push against them for resistance. The improved method traveled with its creator to New York, when Pilates moved in the 1920s. And soon, dancers from all over were even looking Pilates up for help. In fact, well-knowns like choreographer George Balanchine and dancer, teacher, and choreographer Martha Graham and were part of the Pilates methods’ early clientele.
However, as Joseph Pilates outreach and desire to help others even more grew, he developed the series of exercises for workouts on mats that wouldn’t require any other equipment or gadgets (or mattress springs) so that everyone could enjoy improved bodies, physically and mentally. And top athletes like members of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, and Hollywood stars like Sharon Stone, Julia Roberts, Madonna, hit the mats to do their Pilates.
The Pilates method combines these exercises with breathing focus and mental concentration exercises, as well. And the result is a combined mind / body fitness program that focuses on developing your body to its top potential or peak performance level, while helping you reach your best mentally and emotionally at the same time.
The exercises boast multiple benefits. They help to sculpt a flatter stomach area. They help strengthen the abdominal muscles that in turn improve your coordination and balance. And they help your movement with other physical activities across the board as well as sharpen your emotional and mental state, resulting in improved balance and calmness.
Pilates also help other areas of the body. They stretch your entire frame, strengthening and improving your posture. Results reported by those active with the Pilates method show that these exercises help in the sculpting of long and lean toned muscles like those of a dancer. As a matter of fact, regardless of who you are; fitness fiend, Joe athlete or newbie at weightloss, Pilates are reported to be for nearly everyone; young and old, fit or not.
The key ingredient or secret of success of Pilates is not in the exercises themselves, as you’ll run across crunches and other common workout components. Surprisingly enough, the key focuses on your abdomen, the central core of your body.
For Pilates to fit into your fitness training, check out the following resources: Pilates Workout for Dummies (2001), Michelle Dozois, DVD, Anchor Bay Entertainment. Pilates Complete For Weight Loss; DVD, Bodywisdom Media, Inc., Jan. 2004. Winsor Pilates Workout Kit w/DVD As Seen On TV, Other products by Guthy Renker. For more, visit Amazon.com and search, “Pilates.”
This e-book is written by Georgette Pann,
Ace certified Personal Trainer,IFA certified Sports Nutrition