Pilates for Beginners

Pilates for beginners is, of course, easier than those of the more advanced workouts, but it doesn’t mean that they are less effective. Everyone must be able to perform the most basic layers before progressing to the advanced levels. Most of the time, even those who know of the more advanced would trail back to the basic exercises.

The main purpose of Pilates is to learn movement of the body from a strong stable base with precision, flow and control while being in tune with the mind.  The techniques you learn from a workout can be and should be taken into your everyday life making Pilates a holistic approach to exercise.

There are many exercises that you could use if you are just starting. Pilates for beginners requires you to master certain techniques before beginning your basic program.

Pilates exercises must be done in harmony with your breathing and not rushed.

Before trying any Pilates exercises you must master 4 things that are crucial for learning pilates- first a correct standing posture, 2nd a neutral spinal alignment, 3rd thoracic breathing and 4th core engagement. All this sounds very confusing but with the right Pilates teacher and practice it will become second nature.

Let’s begin with correct standing posture – stand with feet together now fan them out at the heels and then the toes they should now be pointing forwards directly under your knees and hips. Pull up tall through your spine, imagine a piece of string attached to your head. Soften your knee joints so there is no tension with in them. Next lift your shoulders roll them back and drop them down into your back there should be a nice gap between your ears and shoulders with your arms hanging by your side

Neutral spinal alignment – how to find this, place one hand on your lower back and one on your lower abdominals now imagine your pelvis is a bucket of water and you are going to rock it backwards and forwards until the water sloshes in and out I want you to find a position half way between the two so the water is nice and steady in the pelvis. This is a neutral spinal alignment.

Thoracic breathing – this breathing is specific to Pilates and its exercises without the breathing you cannot learn the core engagement and the flow of the exercises. Place your hands on your rib cage now breathe in deep full and wide through your nose till your ribcage expands. Now blow out through your mouth like blowing through a straw feeling your lungs close down, practice until you can do this smoothly.

Core engagement – this is where your strength and stability comes from think about the muscles in your lower abdominals between your navel and pubic bone, imagine you have a belt slung low from hip to hip as you breathe out through your mouth, I want you to pull those muscles back and in towards your spine as if you have done your belt up.  The aim is to be able to hold them in while breathing, talking and exercising!! Practice makes perfect.

There are fun ways to exercise with Pilates, and some of the equipment could even double as furniture. In 1936, Joseph Pilates filmed a demonstration of a whole exercise routine using a piece of Pilates equipment called the Wunda Chair. However, there are still very many exercises that could be done using nothing but a mat. These mat workouts are the most popular Pilates workouts. When you advance to the more complicated workouts, the mat workout would be comprised of specific exercise routines.

Pilates for beginners can be easy, but as you can see, one needs to follow the instructions to the letter to be able to fully benefit from it. There are many benefits that one could get from these exercises, including mental well-being. It can also decrease stress levels, stiffness, fatigue, relaxation, focus and breathing.

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