Pilates is one of those words that are usually associated with women in Yoga Pants. Yes, you will need to wear workout attire but it’s so much more than that! If you have never looked into it or even you practice it there might be something to learn from this article. Below is your Pilates Training Guide For Beginners from what it really is, how to find the right studio and resources to help you get started!
What is Pilates Training?
Pilates is a resistance-based form of exercise. It uses both springs and your own bodyweight to lengthen, tone, and gain mobility/flexibility. The first equipment was created from bed springs that Joseph Pilates hooked to a headboard. This invention was to help people to move and stay healthy that were bedridden.
Since then it has gone on to help dancers, athletes, and then took off in the fitness world. Pilates is now a household name.
You can use the resistance training in order to tone, strengthen, stretch, gain mobility and flexibility. Pilate’s is still used for physical therapy and helps challenge those that want more of a workout. Exercises can be modified to fit each individual and their needs.
There are specific exercises for each body part and even full-body exercises that work simultaneously. Sometimes props can be used like the resistance band, ball, circle, and roller to add another dimension to the workout or assistance.
Benefits of Pilates Training
Pilates is unique in the way that you aren’t trying to bulk or shorten your muscles to “gain strength.” It’s about elongating your muscles, using the deeper and more structural muscles to strengthen the body from the inside out. Most other forms of exercise are interested in doing as many reps as possible, in a quick time frame, and targeting the larger muscles groups without a balance.
If you are only targeting the superficial muscles the body isn’t balanced and you tend to run into injuries. The other issue with that is those muscles don’t have as much endurance and burn out quicker (which is why they can’t sustain long periods of cardio).
By working the deeper, more intrinsic muscles that are designed for endurance, you can practice a functional form of exercise.
Not only are you able to use all the musculature how it’s intended but the mobility and flexibility aspect is just as important! Our bodies are meant for motion and animation. Stretching is important to keep the elasticity of the muscles healthy.
How Fascia Really Works
You have fascia all over your body. You’ve probably seen the false ads about the “Fascia Blasters.” That’s not how it really works. Like I said, your body is designed for motion and animation and it’s fascia that facilitates that. So when we hold, clench, and are rigid during exercise, it limits the range of motion and causes your fascia not to glide.
Fascia lines all of your muscles, organs, bones, veins, etc. It’s an entire system in your body designed to help animate without constriction.
Doing traditional ab curls is one of the worst things you can do for the body! Shortening the space between the ribcage and hips aren’t building strength but tension. That tension builds and causes things like low back pain, tight hips, and constricts your ribcage.
Fascia is actually stronger than muscle and helps us to move about our day naturally but most people just aren’t aware of it. An example of tension and “knots” in the fascia is when you circle your shoulders or arms and feel all of those crunchy spots. That’s when the fascia gets callouses and forms those spots that don’t allow it to glide.
Getting Started with Pilates Training
My recommendation on the best way for you to get started is to look up a studio. I work at studios that focus on the body itself and not just “feeling the burn.” Don’t get me wrong you might feel it and be sore from working different muscles you aren’t used to, but that’s not the purpose.
Studios that are actually body-focused will have language on their site like mind/body connection, aligning the body for everyday function and efficiency, and any other language I’ve used in this post.
Pilates has made a difference in my body and life and I’ve seen it change so many others. I’ve worked with people that have had brain injuries and needed to rewire the neural pathways, scoliosis, spinal fusions, bulging disks, Diastasis, rotator cuff injuries, you name it. I’ve also worked with people just wanting to live a healthy lifestyle and keep moving efficiently.
Getting started can be a hard first step! Pilates isn’t just a quick fix but the start of a lifestyle change. For you to see results you would need to give it time.
“In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see a difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body” – Joe Pilates
Pilates Training Resources
Pilates Anytime is an online resource that has hundreds of videos for you to enjoy anywhere and anytime! The videos are broken up into different categories based on level, apparatus, props/no props, instructors, training, duration, etc. You’re able to pick and choose what kind of workout is best for your body that day.
If I’m on the go I don’t always have access to Pilate’s Equipment so Mat classes are my usual go-to. Depending on what small props I packed or can replicate will help me pick the class.
I’ll usually bring a resistance band and maybe a circle if I have space in my luggage. Pilate’s Anytime is a great resource and my favorite for doing workouts at home or on the go.
So get started to feeling like a better and healthier you!