Pilates exercises are a favorite fitness choice for many people including movie stars like Danny Glover and Gweneth Paltrow, professional dancers, and even some professional baseball players. Why this fascination with Pilates? What can it do that other forms of exercise can’t?
I began doing Pilates several years ago when I was searching for a different look for my body. I had been exercising for many years when I began to experience a level of dissatisfaction with way my body looked. While I was lean and muscular, my body had a packed, crowded look to it. The more I used weights, thicker my muscles looked. In addition, no matter how many crunches and reverse curls I did, I still had this abdominal bulge that would not budge. It drove me crazy.
I began to yearn for body I had as a dancer – trim, strong, with elongated muscles. That’s when I stumbled upon Pilates. The people who did Pilates exercises had long, lean look that I craved. So I began to do Pilates exercises and I have never looked back.
What are Pilates exercises all about?
They focus on your core. - Pilates focuses on strengthening core of your body – deep abdominal muscles and pelvic stabilizers, back, butt, and also creating flexibility in spine. This continual focus on core has helped me get rid of my belly bulge and also develop ‘six pack’ abs .
They work your entire body as one unit. - Many people ask how Pilates exercises relate to yoga poses. In many instances, poses overlap. However, while in yoga you often hold a pose, in Pilates you are always moving. In addition, no matter what area of body you are focusing on, you are still engaging your entire body. For example, if you are doing an exercise for your legs, you simultaneously hold in your abdominal muscles and maintain proper body alignment while executing movement.
They focus on quality, not quantity. - Pilates exercises are focused on quality, not quantity. With some exercises such as The Saw, you might only do 2 or 3 repetitions. In most cases, you will usually only do 10 repetitions of any given exercise. Yet because you are focused on quality of each movement, you get a greater benefit from each exercise than with traditional strengthening exercises.