Reform Your Pilates Workout

Pilates is an exercise system developed by Joseph Pilates to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility and improve overall health. Exercises are performed on a mat or on specially designed equipment, most notably the Pilates reformer.  Created in the early part of the 20th century, Joseph Pilates was so far ahead of his time that the program did not begin to achieve popular recognition until the first few years of the 21st century.

 

Pilates, a structured program involving a library of five hundred controlled exercises, engages the mind and efficiently works the entire body. It is a balanced mix of strength and flexibility training that reduces tension, improves posture and creates long, lean muscles. Supporting my personal philosophy that exercise should be FUN and accomodate all fitness levels, dancers and athletes love it, as do seniors, persons who at different stages of physical rehabilitation and women rebounding from pregnancy. Pilates gets your mind in tune with your human body. By emphasizing correct breathing, correct pelvic and spinal alignment, and complete concentration on smooth, flowing movement. You become acutely aware of where your entire body is in space, how it feels, and how to control its movement.

Reverse Plank 
I am a Pilates instructor and advocate, and I absolutely adore the reformer machine.  At first glance the machine appears to be quite complex and intimidating; however, it is such an entertaining and rewarding workout once you become familiar with the piece.  I recommend participating in a demonstration class at your local studio, many studios offer complimentary reformer orientations.  After one or two simple introductions, you will bond with the reformer!

 

The Pilates reformer utilizes resistance from both its springs and from the user's body. Some exercises are more difficult as the spring tension is increased, yet other exercises are more difficult with less spring resistance because the the user must depend on their own strength to move.  The exercises require different spring loads for different fitness levels.  The middle section of the Pilates reformer is the carriage. This is where you will put the core or center of your body. The type of exercise will determine if you will sit, lie or stand on the carriage to execute the exercise. The final section is the headrest with straps.  Exercises utilizing the straps primarily involve your hands or feet.

 Pilates Standing

Pilates is certainly a form of exercise that leaves a minimal footprint on the planet.  Root Manufacturing produces Pilates equipment from bamboo and other sustainable, eco-friendly materials.  The company is also commited to recycling and reducing VOC emissions.  The Pilates reformer machine does not require electricity, the only thing you will be burning is calories.  Walk or ride your bike to a local studio and let the fun begin!

 

 

Learn more about Stacy Walters, RKT at www.fittogarden.com

 

 

 

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