In our country, Pilates has become popular relatively recently due to various celebrities who are fond of this area, and gradually spread among the most diverse strata of society due to its effectiveness. But this system has existed for more than a hundred years.
In 1880, a rather weak and sickly child was born in Germany near Düsseldorf – Joseph
Hubert Pilates. However, being already at the age of fourteen, Pilates became the owner of good health, beautiful body and very attractive appearance. It’s hard to believe, but thanks to his unique exercise system, he got rid of asthma, rheumatic fever and several other diseases. In 1926, Pilates moved to America, where his method began to win an increasing number of followers.
What is Pilates?
Pilates – a complex of exercises for the whole body, based on the control of the spirit, body and mind. The complex is aimed at stretching and strengthening muscles without injury, increasing the flexibility and mobility of joints, general strengthening of the body and the development of self-control.
This system is also used by pregnant women to prepare for childbirth and the postpartum period for rapid recovery of the body.
The philosophy of the system “Pilates” and its principles and features
The basis of its system Pilates laid Contrology method – control over mind, spirit and body. Initially, the system was called so. Pilates believed that all the body’s energy is located in the area of the press, and it was this part of the body that played the leading role.
The philosophy of this doctrine is based on the harmonization of the mind and body, the importance of proper breathing, clarification of consciousness and increasing endurance, strengthening the center of the body. Pilates teaches you to be aware of your body, live and move in harmony, instills the ability to properly concentrate.
Muscle mass is reorganized without an increase, in contrast to training in gyms. Much attention is paid to the so-called “strength frame” – supporting muscles, our “body center.”
This technique represents a kind of symbiosis of the elements of Eastern teachings and Western forms of gymnastics.
Being engaged in Pilates, you need to clearly understand why you are doing this, what is the purpose of your workouts.
The basic principles of the system “Pilates”
In each sport or any other method of body training, certain principles are laid down that express the essence of this particular type. Pilates, of course, is no exception, and also has its own principles in the construction of body and spirit. If you are interested in this system, you need to know and adhere to them. So what does Pilates profess?
- Relaxation: an exercise begins with it.
- Concentration: we must learn to focus and manage our attention, because it is the brain that sends commands to our body. We must understand the essence of the movements and the processes occurring in the body. Moreover, attention is directed both to working muscles and to inactive ones. In other words, the body is perceived as one.
- Alignment: develop posture. All joints should be positioned correctly.
- Control of the muscles without effort and intuitiveness: in Pilates, the exercises are performed with the help of the efforts of the muscles, but at the same time their tension should be clearly dosed out. This is achieved with the help of even, without delays breathing and control over the body (without pain and overstrain)
- Centering: focusing on improving the “center of power” – Powerhouses (lower back, press, buttocks, thighs). One of the basic principles.
- Visualization: work with images for the involvement of consciousness in physical activity.
- Smooth movements: in general, the entire system can be compared with a kind of dance according to the technique of performance. And it was not without reason that dancers were the first to actively use dancers.
- Accuracy: each movement is subject to a specific goal. Inattention to detail affects efficiency. Here quality is by no means compensated by quantity!
- Breathing: a rib breathing technique is used. We breathe deep in the lower part of the lungs, the abdomen and the anterior part of the chest wall do not expand. Inhale the air as if in the back. With this method of breathing, the blood and, after it, the muscles are maximally saturated with oxygen.
- Regularity: Ideally, if you devote your studies 3 times a week, the time of the day depends on you. The duration of one workout is from 45 to 1 hour.
The programs of this system are exercises on the floor, with equipment and work on special simulators, where ropes, flat surfaces, movable seats are used (“Chair”, “Reformer”, “Cadillac”). Simulators strengthen and stretch the muscles.
- Classes on the floor: perform sitting or lying down. We improve the condition of the spine and posture.
- Classes with equipment: exercises on the floor in combination with dumbbells, expanders, balls. The arms, the shoulder girdle, the back, the pelvis, and the legs are strengthened and simultaneously unlocked.
- Classes with simulators: many small muscles are included in the work due to the absence of fixed support in the simulators. The body, trying to maintain balance, begins to work very actively.
Depending on the needs of the organism and the level of preparedness, there are various sets of exercises aimed specifically at solving a particular problem. If you want to start training yourself, then start not with Pilates for weight loss, but with a program for beginners.
There is a classic pilates program. This is a workout for people with caloric intake of 1200 – 1500 kcal per day. The program is aimed at the general maintenance of body and spirit in order.
If the calorie intake is higher than 1600 kcal / day, or you are no longer a beginner in fitness, you can use more dynamic types of weight loss programs, or it can be a pelox – a hybrid of Pilates and martial arts.
There are programs, as mentioned above, developed specifically for pregnant women in preparing them for childbirth and further postnatal rehabilitation.
Basic exercises for weight loss
As you have probably understood, the training will not be active and high-intensity. To spend 200 kcal, a woman will need an hour of training on the floor (with a body weight of approximately 70 kg). And for the loss of 500 g of adipose tissue, we need to burn 3500 kcal.
But do not think that Pilates is ineffective in this case. It just works on a completely different principle – with deep layers of muscles, speeding up the metabolism. The body will begin to burn more at rest or while doing other things. You will have no need for weighing – you will need to measure volumes. For a month, subject to regular training, you can lose weight in the lower part of the body for one clothing size.
Exercises for weight loss in Pilates can be performed both on the floor and on simulators, as well as using special equipment. Let’s look at some of them.
We sit on the floor (mat, rug), feet on the width of the pelvic bones, knees bent, hips covered by the arms, feet completely in contact with the floor. Straightening your back, pull the crown up. We tear off the feet from the floor and raise the ankles parallel to the floor. Controlling the breath, we freeze in this position for a few seconds. Deeply inhale, exhale with the abdomen being drawn in and rounding the spine. The next breath – straighten your back, repeat first the breathing exercise.
We sit down, bend the legs at the knees, lean back, the emphasis on the forearms, elbows under the shoulders, legs tightly compressed, socks only slightly touch the floor. We pull in the stomach, inhale deeply, turning our knees to the right. Exhale while simultaneously straightening the legs and lifting them diagonally to the body. Breath – the return of the body to its original position. Exhale – repeat by analogy to the left.
Lie on your back, bend your legs and lift your ankles parallel to the floor. Keep your elbows apart, arms above your head. The back is pressed tightly into the floor, we pull in the stomach. Inhale – withdrew from the floor with his head, neck, shoulder blades. Exhalation – straightened the right leg at an angle of 45 degrees to the floor, lower back without deflections, turn the whole body to the left. Breath – returned, without dropping the scapula, to its original position. Breath – all the same in the other direction.
We stand on all fours, leaning on the forearms, knees on the hips, elbows under the shoulders. Straighten and pull back the legs, putting them on the toe. Feet tightly compressed. Having straightened from the top to the heels, we form a straight line. Inhale Exhale, lifting the hips and head down, as if you are a dolphin. Breath – back to the starting position.
We get on all fours, straighten our arms and put our wrists under the joints of the shoulders, legs on the hips. Straightening smoothly, we pull back both legs one after the other on a sock. Resting with socks, feet together. Lower the hips, form a straight line from the heels to the crown. Inhale – raised the leg, exhale – lowered. We alternate exercise, changing legs.
We lay down on the ball and slowly go forward with our hands, rolling the ballunder the ankles. The body is parallel to the floor, and the palm – under the joints of the shoulders. We strain the press, exhale deeply and smoothly. Exhaling, raised the pelvis, with smooth legs rolled the ball to his hands. Breath – repeated exercise.
Food after class
There should be after practicing Pilates 30 minutes after the end of the training. Heavy food, eaten immediately after class, will add you extra weight. If it is too unbearable, drink fruit yogurt, kefir, kvass. You can lean fish, cheese.
Maria: after two months of calm and harmonious training, it took 3.5 kg. But this is not the main thing. The body just began to rebuild, somehow pulled up. And most importantly – I now feel harmony with myself, I have become calmer and more collected. Girls, highly recommend!
Oxy: originally planned to improve the condition of the spine. As a result, she lost 4 kg, became more flexible, more plastic and balanced her character. The husband is very pleased.
So, having studied all the advantages of the training system (and we simply did not find the minuses in Pilates), we can confidently assert that Pilates exercises not only physically restore, but also harmonize us. Try and be healthy and beautiful!