Pilates: reviews, equipment, a set of exercises

Many have heard of Pilates, but what kind of training approach is this?

Pilates is an innovative and safe exercise system for the body and mind using a fitness mat and a variety of equipment. This system has evolved from the principles of Joseph Pilates and can dramatically change the way your body looks and functions. This approach to training allows you to become strong without the use of large weights, as well as create a smooth and slender body with thin hips and a flat stomach.

This is a safe and reasonable exercise system that will help you look and feel very good. Pilates teaches body awareness, light and graceful movements. It will also help increase flexibility, agility and ergonomic movements. Pilates reviews say it can even help relieve back pain.

Abdominal Exercise

History of occurrence

Joseph Hubertus Pilates was born in Germany in 1883. As a child, he was a sickly boy, suffering from asthma. He turned to exercises and athletics to combat these diseases and always studied various training approaches in order to expand his knowledge base. Joseph was fascinated by the ancient Greek ideal of a man with a harmonious body, mind and spirit. He began to develop his own exercise system based on this concept.

Entering adulthood, Joseph was no longer the sickly child he once was. He became an active skier, diver, gymnast and boxer.

In 1912, Joseph went to England, where he worked as a self-defense instructor for police officers. At the beginning of World War I, he was interned on the Isle of Man with other German citizens. At this time, he refined his ideas and trained other internees in his system of exercises. He tied the springs to hospital beds, allowing patients bedridden to train with resistance.

In 1926, he emigrated to the United States. During the flight, he met Clara Zeyner, whom he later married. Soon, they opened a Pilates studio in New York.

By the beginning of the 1960s, many New York ballerinas and dancers were among Joseph and Clara's clients. Pilates became popular outside New York, hundreds of young Americans trained daily according to his method.

Joseph Pilates

While Joseph was still alive, two of his students opened their own studios. Pilates himself continued to train clients in his studio until his death, this happened in 1967 at the age of 87. He did not leave a will and did not designate the line of succession to his cause. Nevertheless, his business flourished, reviews about Pilates were extremely positive. The system subsequently developed to a large extent thanks to his protΓ©gΓ©, called the "elders."

In the late 1980s, the media began to widely disseminate Pilates. Training became available not only for the elite, but also for ordinary people who attended sports clubs. Famous athletes around the world, including many Olympians, began to practice this approach.

The benefits of Pilates

This training system can really affect your health without harming the body. Consider the main advantages of the Pilates system.

  • Mind training.

Proper breathing, straightening of the spine, focus on smooth movement contribute to the harmonious body and mind. You really learn to control your movements.

In Pilates, the quality of movement is estimated by the number of repetitions. Proper breathing is very important and helps to perform movements with maximum efficiency. Proper breathing can also help reduce stress.

  • Strengthening the core and developing a strong back.

When doing Pilates lessons a strong core develops. It consists of deep abdominal muscles and spinal muscles. Muscle control of the cortex is achieved through the joint work of the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle.

  • Getting long and elastic muscles, increasing flexibility.

Traditional strength training often leads to short and bulky muscles, that is, the type most prone to injury. Pilates lengthens and strengthens muscles, improving their elasticity, and also improves joint mobility. A balanced and flexible body is less prone to injury.

  • Getting a harmonious body and improving athletic performance.

Traditional workouts tend to work with the same muscles, which leads to an imbalance, which is the main cause of injuries and chronic back pain.

The main benefit of Pilates is that it allows you to train your entire body. None of the muscle groups is left without attention, which allows you to enjoy everyday activities and sports with greater ease, better performance. For this reason, many professional sports teams and eminent athletes use Pilates as an important part of their training regimen.

  • Improving the efficiency of movements.

Pilates trains several muscle groups at once with the help of smooth and continuous movements. Having developed the right technique, you can train your body to move in safer, more effective models of movement. This is very important for achieving athletic performance, obtaining good posture and optimal health.

  • Security.

Many of the exercises are performed while lying or sitting and most of them have a low load. Pilates is so safe that it is used in physiotherapy facilities for rehabilitation after injuries.

  • Different difficulty levels.

Pilates is also an extremely flexible exercise system. Exercise modifications are for people from beginner to advanced level. Choose the workout that suits you best and increase the intensity as your body improves.

Pilates training

Choosing a training venue

Once you decide to try Pilates, you should decide where you are most comfortable doing. The choice of location will depend on many factors: your schedule, free time, and whether there is a specialized room nearby. In any case, you should be in an appropriate atmosphere conducive to concentration and concentration.

  • If you prefer loneliness, freedom in drawing up your curriculum, it is best to practice Pilates at home.
  • If the spirit of camaraderie and discipline is important to you, then classes in a fitness club or studio are suitable for you.

If you are a beginner, it is still worth taking a few individual or group lessons in the studio from an experienced Pilates instructor. This investment will pay off. The correct technique includes the intricacies of both movement and breathing, which are best explained and demonstrated by a qualified instructor.

You can also purchase Pilates for Dummies workouts or find videos on the Internet.

Pilates with an instructor

In addition, Pilates is offered in many rehabilitation clinics and wellness centers. If you need physical therapy for chronic neck and back pain, scoliosis, after replacing a hip or knee joint and other diseases, studies show that it can be an effective treatment. Discuss the treatment program with your doctor, read reviews about Pilates in recovery from injuries.

Types of Training

There are two types of training: using a mat and in a specialized Pilates reformer simulator (cables and springs create resistance). What occupation to choose?

Pilates reformer

Pilates for dummies is usually done using a rug. Before proceeding to the simulator, you should learn to feel your body, control muscles during exercise. After a couple of months of training, you can move on to the next stage.

Pilates invented a large number of machines that operate on the basis of spring resistance. They can be used to perform most exercises according to his technique. The resistance created by the spring system of the reformer can provide more complex training than regular classes. The simulator allows people with a limited range of movements or injuries to safely perform modified exercises.

Such training can also give visible results much earlier - the muscles of the arms, legs and cortex will look much better after 10-15 sessions. People who have tried this type of training leave extremely positive reviews about Pilates.

The reformer may resemble a torture instrument and is a rather sophisticated simulator. For this reason, classes are often held individually and are quite expensive. Also, not every city has halls and studios where there is such equipment.

Pilates Equipment

For a standard lesson, you will definitely need a rug. Optional equipment that is optional will help improve your workout. For example, such equipment may include:

  • Extra weight. Suitable for adding another level of difficulty to an exercise. Small balls are used for rehabilitation, as they will help create mobility in the hands and wrists after an injury.
  • Ball. It can be used with a rug and other equipment to increase stamina.
  • Pilates ring. Ideal for creating additional resistance.
  • Elastic tape. Serves the same goals as the ring, helps with stretching in the initial stages of training.
Pilates Equipment

Exercise complex

Classical Pilates consists of more than 600 exercises. The lesson can be held in an expensive studio with fancy equipment, but in fact, all you need is a rug.

Consider five simple movements that do not require additional equipment and are simple enough to try them almost anywhere. There is no gender separation in training - Pilates exercises are the same for both men and women.

Exercise 100

At the heart of each Pilates training is the exercise "100", designed to prepare the body for training.

  • Pull both legs to the chest, holding the legs with your hands, tilt your head, round your spine and slowly lower yourself back. Lift your legs, bent at the knees, lower legs parallel to the floor. Hold on to your hips and lift your shoulder blades off the floor while retracting your press.
  • Turn your hands with your palms on the floor and begin to perform intense hand swings 15-20 centimeters up and down, taking deep breaths. Inhale for 5 counts, exhale for 5 counts. Repeat 10 times without taking a break.
  • If the movement seems too complicated, lower your head to the floor.

Back rolls

This exercise is an easy way to massage your back muscles and at the same time work out with your abs. Slips are great for beginners, because the rounded shape of the spine helps you learn how to properly and efficiently engage the main muscles, while straining them.

  • Sit on the floor, knees bent, toes touching the floor. Grasp your hips and raise your legs, keep your knees shoulder-width apart.
  • Sit back (do not fall on your neck or head), then find your balance for a moment.
  • Repeat 5 times.

One leg circles

With this exercise, you will learn to hold your abs, even when you move your legs.

  • Lie on the mat, lower your shoulders down, stretch your right leg up, while the left leg is bent and rests on the floor.
  • Make a circle with your right foot in the air. If you cannot keep your leg straight, bend it slightly at the knee. The main thing is not to tear the pelvis off the floor and keep the core muscles in tension.
  • Repeat 5 times, then change the leg.

Long leg pull

This is an easy way to prepare the body for a more advanced version of the exercise, in which both legs are extended.

  • Lie on your back, bend your legs at an obtuse angle, rest your feet on the floor. Stretch one leg and arms along the torso.
  • Start to slowly round your back and reach for your outstretched arms. Hold for a second at the peak point and go back.
  • Repeat 5 times. Change your foot down, repeat.


This exercise will help you work out your leg muscles and abs.

  • Lie on your back, pull your knees to your chest, place your hands behind your head. Stretch the right leg in front of you, the left leg remains bent.
  • Turn your torso to your left knee, then repeat the movement with the other leg.
  • Repeat twice. Then make the movement faster for another four full turns.
Pilates on the ball


Pilates has created a truly unique system of physical exercises that helps to correct muscle imbalances, to correct posture, coordination, balance, strength and flexibility. It also helps to increase the throughput of the respiratory system and the functioning of organs.

Pilates lessons are one of the keys to a healthy lifestyle. Sign up for the first lesson in the studio or start with the complex described in the article. Regardless of age or state of health, Pilates lessons will be effective, the main thing is only to begin. Soon you will feel how your body becomes strong and flexible, and your mind is freer and cleaner.

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/A11801/

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