Pilates is a set of special exercises suitable for beginners. It is designed to build a flexible, strong and beautiful body, as well as for rehabilitation after injuries.
The essence and basic principles of Pilates
A set of exercises was developed by Joseph Pilates during the First World War. These exercises were designed to rehabilitate wounded soldiers. After the war, Pilates was used to restore athletes after injuries.
Over time, this training system became more and more popular with artists and celebrities, and later became a world famous fitness destination. The peculiarity of the complex is that it includes leisurely exercises based on yoga and other oriental techniques. Pilates, like yoga, combines the work of the mind and body.
Pilates is built on the following principles:
Concentration . This is a conscious study of every muscle in the body. Movements should not be performed by inertia, each exercise must be performed as concentrated and meaningful as possible. It is important to understand why each exercise is needed and how it will affect the state of muscles and the body as a whole. Only a properly executed movement will benefit.
- Centralization – all exercises are based on strengthening the rectus and transverse muscles of the abdomen. In Pilates, this zone is considered a “source of energy” and a “framework of strength.” When performing any exercise, it is important to fix the lumbar spine. To do this, it is necessary to constantly keep the stomach drawn in, so that the navel is “glued” to the spine. This is what fixes the lumbar spine during exercise and reduces the risk of injury. Before you start training, it is important to learn how to properly stabilize the spine. This is the basis of the entire Pilates technique.
- Proper breathing . The main thing in Pilates is to control your breathing. Performing exercises you need to breathe in the same rhythm as in ordinary life. You need to take a deep breath with your nose, and exhale with your mouth. In the process of breathing, only the ribs and rib cage are involved, while the abdominal muscles should be tensed. Pilates improves metabolism in the body, saturates the lungs with oxygen and purifies the blood.
- Muscle control . Pilates exercises should be done thoughtfully and not reflexively. Beginners need to learn to listen to their body during classes – it is important not to keep your breath while doing exercises, subordinate the muscles to your will and control your sensations from exercises. Pain and severe fatigue during Pilates are unacceptable, this must be strictly monitored.
- Accuracy of execution . Pilates exercises are easy, but they will be effective only if they are correctly performed. The technique of doing exercises involves many nuances, and the slightest mistake can ruin everything. It is important to have proper breathing, body position and tension of individual muscles. The emphasis is on the quality of execution, and not on the number of repetitions of the same exercise.
- Smooth movements . Haste is strictly prohibited. One movement should slowly and smoothly be replaced by another. Breathing should be deep and rhythmic, if it goes astray, you need to slow down.
Isolation of certain muscles . Each exercise is aimed at working out certain muscles, while all other muscles should be relaxed. This process needs to be controlled mentally, straining only the necessary muscles. The body should be relaxed.
- Visualization . To achieve a better result, it is important to train the body in unity with the mind. It is important to associate the exercises with any events and clearly represent the process of their implementation. For example, stretching up, you can imagine how the crown touches the ceiling. The muscles will receive the desired signal from the brain, and the exercise will be performed as accurately and efficiently as possible.
- Regular workouts . The ideal option is to train up to 3 times a week. The effect of training will quickly disappear if you do not do Pilates regularly.
Indications for use
Pilates exercises for beginners are very beneficial in helping to fight and prevent various diseases. This is especially true for diseases and injuries of the muscles and musculoskeletal system. Pilates helps prevent and treat osteochondrosis and intervertebral hernia. These diseases are caused by damage to the intervertebral discs.
To stabilize the spine, it is very important to strengthen the intervertebral and supporting muscles. This can be achieved by doing Pilates exercises. In addition, with regular training, increased spinal flexibility. With these diseases, Pilates can be practiced only after consulting a doctor and only at the stage of remission.
There should be no pain during exercise. This training system has a gradual mild effect, so a significant improvement in the condition in a short time will not happen. Pilates is indicated for the prevention and treatment of arthrosis. This disease affects the joints, resulting in their deformation and limitation of mobility.
Pilates helps strengthen the ligaments and articular muscles. And this reduces the risk of joint deformation. This set of exercises will help only in the early stages of arthrosis, in other cases, classes can be hazardous to health. In the early stages of scoliosis, this set of exercises is also recommended. With severe scoliosis, many Pilates exercises are contraindicated.
As a result of classes, the muscle corset is strengthened. Muscles keep the spine from further bending. Pilates is indicated for headaches (especially for migraines). Exercise relieves muscle clamps, making oxygen better into the brain. Headaches often occur precisely because of insufficient oxygen supply to the brain.
This set of exercises is shown to people who lead a “sedentary” lifestyle – schoolchildren, students, office workers. It is important to do Pilates for people after 40 years, this will prevent diseases of the joints, muscles and ligaments.
In adolescence, Pilates helps fight muscle pain with hormonal growth.
Pilates exercises for beginners are used to treat obesity. This is especially true of the last stages of this disease, when shortness of breath and muscle weakness appear. People with a lot of weight are not recommended to start with hard training, this will lead to problems with the heart, muscles and joints.
Pilates exercises do not give a big load on the body, most of them are easy to perform. With regular training, the level of subcutaneous and internal fat is slowly reduced, muscles are strengthened, appetite is reduced and metabolism is normalized.
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Pilates exercises for beginners have the following contraindications:
- Viral and colds, which are accompanied by high fever. In this case, the coordination of movements is significantly impaired and there is a risk of injury.
- Oncological diseases (especially bone cancer). In this case, there is a risk of a fracture even with a small load.
- Untreated dislocations, fractures and muscle strains. Pilates is used at the rehabilitation stage, only after complete recovery. Otherwise, you can only exacerbate the problem.
- Scoliosis of 3-4 degrees. With a slight curvature of the spine, Pilates exercises do no harm. With severe scoliosis, the “center of power” may not withstand a constant load, and the problem may worsen.
- Mental illness. Pilates is based on a conscious study of the muscles of the body. People with mental disorders find it difficult to concentrate on perceiving their own body.
- Risk of bleeding.
Useful recommendations for patients
Before practicing Pilates, the patient must make sure that this system of exercises does not harm him.
To do this, you need to find out the following facts from your doctor:
- A list of diseases and injuries suffered over a lifetime.
- Assessment of mental and physical health at the start of Pilates classes.
- Assessment of the level of physical fitness.
It is best to start classes with a trainer, he will pick up individual exercises depending on the patient’s health status. At first, the trainer should control the execution of each exercise. Pilates can be practiced at home, but only if the patient has learned to correctly perform all the exercises of the course.
It is important to remember a few more tips:
- Pilates clothing should be soft and comfortable. It is important not to wear loose clothing, it will prevent you from monitoring the correctness of the exercises.
- Training shoes are not needed. Pilates is practiced on a special rug with bare feet or in socks.
- It is better to place a roller or a small pillow under the back, so the load on the spine will decrease.
- Do not crush food before and after training. Immediately after exercise, you can drink water or green tea.
- No need to rush to remember all the exercises at once. It is better to master only two exercises a day, but to perform them correctly and consciously.
- Pilates should be enjoyed. Pain, fatigue, nervousness, and apathy are reasons to postpone training.
Pilates exercises for beginners include a warm-up, a set of basic exercises and stretching:
- You need to start the workout with a warm-up. It can be simple movements of the arms, legs and neck, stretching, tilting the body to the sides or back and forth. The main thing is to warm up all the muscles well. Before starting the workout, you need to take a couple of deep breaths and a couple of bends forward.
The first Pilates exercise is called “100.” It is aimed at strengthening the muscles of the abs and arms, as well as stretching the arms and neck. The main thing in this exercise is stabilization of the lumbar spine. Exercise is performed while lying on your back, while your legs should be bent at the knees. As you exhale, you must simultaneously tear the shoulder blades off the floor and raise your legs up. The arms are extended forward, palms down, draw in the stomach. The loin should be pressed to the floor. This position must be fixed for the longest possible time, and on the exhale, take the starting position.
- “Circles feet.” This exercise is necessary to strengthen the transverse abdominal muscles, as well as to strengthen the muscles of the pelvis and hips. This is a good workout for your hip joints. The exercise is performed lying on your back, arms along the body, one leg bent at the knee. On exhalation, it is necessary to raise the straight leg up, turning the heel a little inward. At the same time, you need to retract the stomach and stabilize the lumbar spine. The toe of the foot reaches for the ceiling, shoulders and upper back should be relaxed. In this position, it is necessary to make a circular motion with the foot (it is desirable to imagine how the big toe draws a circle on the ceiling). You need to start the movement down and in. The leg muscles should be as tight as possible.
Twisting. Exercise strengthens the muscles of the “center of power” and the muscles of the abdomen. Twisting works out the spine well. Starting position – lying on your back, arms along the body, legs straight. On inhalation, the arms should be extended forward, while exhaling, tilt the body forward. In this case, it is necessary to tighten the abdominal muscles, and round the back. All movements should be slow and smooth. Then you need to take a breath and as you exhale slowly return to its original position.
- Neck extension . The exercise involves the muscles of the abs, neck and back of the thighs. It is performed lying on the back, hands are located behind the head, legs are shoulder-width apart, the stomach is pulled in. On exhalation, it is necessary to raise the body from the floor and straighten the back, trying to reach the top of the head to the ceiling. On inspiration, return to starting position. Do not tear off your legs from the floor and bend them at the knees.
- Slips on the back . Exercise helps stretch the muscles of the spine, strengthens the muscles of the abs and improves coordination. Performed sitting on the floor. Hands need to grab the bent knees, tearing the feet off the floor. The stomach is pulled in, the body must be in balance. From the starting position, it is necessary to roll back to the edge of the blades and return to the starting position. The back is rounded off. Exercise must be done at the expense of muscles, and not by inertia.
Stretching legs alternately . Exercise strengthens the muscles of the abdomen and legs. Lying on your back you need to tear off your shoulders and shoulder blades from the floor. One leg is torn off the floor and stretches forward. The other leg must be lifted up, clutching the ankle with your hands. It is necessary to make several springing movements with your own hands, and then change your legs.
Twisting the back . Exercise strengthens the oblique muscles of the abdomen. It is performed sitting on the floor, legs stretched forward, socks pulled “on t
hemselves”. Hands raised at shoulder level and spread apart. On exhalation, it is necessary to turn the body to the side and make another springy movement in this direction. On inspiration, it is necessary to return to the starting position. Then make a turn in the other direction.
- Leg lift . The exercise is performed lying on its side, the lower leg is bent, the upper leg is parallel to the floor. On exhalation, it is necessary to slowly raise the leg up, while the pelvis and torso should remain in place. On inspiration, you need to return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise several times and then roll over to the other side.
- Head rotation . This exercise is for the muscles of the back, arms and neck. To perform it, you need to lie on your stomach, placing your palms near your chest. On exhalation, it is necessary to lift up on half-bent arms so that the pelvis is pressed to the floor, and the stomach remains on weight. In this position, it is necessary to slowly turn the head to the left, then slowly lower it down and turn to the right. As you exhale, lower your torso to the floor.
- Overwhelming . Exercise trains the muscles of the buttocks, back, arms and hips. Starting position – lying on his stomach, hands behind his back locked in a lock, elbows lie on the floor. In springing movements, bending the legs at the knees, you need to try to get your heels to the buttocks.
You can complete the workout by doing a few simple stretching exercises or just relaxing on the gymnastic mat.
Recommended exercise reps:
|Exercise name||Number of repetitions|
|A hundred||5 to 15 times|
|Kicking circles||3-5 laps for each leg|
|Neck extension||5 reps|
|Back rolls||5-10 rolls|
|Stretching legs alternately||5-10 times|
|Back twisting||5-6 times in each direction|
|Leg lift||10 movements for each leg|
|Head spin||3-6 times in each direction|
To consolidate the result of Pilates, it is recommended to lead a healthy lifestyle:
- Avoid stress and nervous breakdowns.
- Eat properly.
- To walk outside.
- Avoid lack of sleep and overwork.
- Take vitamins.
It is important to enjoy Pilates classes and visualize future results. You can not do it through force and in a depressed state.
For various diseases, it is worth strictly observing the doctor’s recommendations regarding the regimen of the day, diet, taking medications and vitamins. It is important for people with various illnesses to have a regular checkup with their doctor to make sure that the exercises are not harmful to health.
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When to expect an effect
The result of practicing Pilates does not come soon. This system will not help to quickly solve all problems. With regular conscious training, after 10 lessons, you can feel the difference in the feeling of yourself and your body. Visible results are achieved after 20-30 regular workouts.
Pilates needs to be practiced daily on an ongoing basis, this is a guarantee that the result will not come to naught.
Doctors advise this program to their patients to combat excess weight and to strengthen the body as a whole. For patients, the danger is not the system itself, but its unreasonable use. Doctors advise people with poor health to choose the exercises very carefully. Such people need to be engaged individually with a trainer, there can be no talk of any group activities.
With regular individual training, patients note lightness in the body, decreased appetite, improved emotional state and muscle strengthening. In many patients, insomnia and anxiety disappear. With prolonged use of the Pilates system, a significant reduction in weight is observed, the body becomes toned and elastic, stiffness of movements and back pain disappears.
Pilates exercises are suitable for beginners, regardless of age and physical fitness. They are used for the rehabilitation of patients after injuries, as well as for the prevention and treatment of various diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Pilates strengthens the muscles of the whole body, helps to lose weight and normalize metabolism.
Pilates Beginner Exercise Video
Pilates exercises for beginners, video tutorial: