Since the beginning of the 20th century, Pilates has attracted millions of enthusiastic practitioners, and its popularity doesn’t seem to be fading any time soon. If you’ve been meaning to try it too, you should first learn what it’s about. Here are 4 things you should know about Pilates:
1. It won’t help you lose weight
Pilates isn’t a cardio-based workout and it is not designed for weight loss. Pilates is aimed at balancing the mind and the body, through Pilates is a conditioning routine that may help build flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance.
The main principles of Pilates include strengthening the “core”, improving balance, stamina and muscle control, through concentration, breathing and flow of movement.
2. It’s not as easy as it looks
Especially for a beginner, Pilates exercises may prove to be quite difficult, as they require a high level of concentration and precision.
However, the Pilates routine is structured in such a manner that exercises can be modified and updated spanning different levels of difficulty. So make sure you get started with the beginner exercises, and make your way up as you become more advanced.
3. It requires some equipment
Pilates uses a wide range of equipment, machines, apparatuses and the like. If you plan to do Pilates at home, it might require you to invest quite a bit in getting the appropriate tools: mats, balls, weights and apparel.
4. Traditional Pilates vs. Modern Pilates
The original Pilates “movement” was initiated by Joseph Pilates in the first half of the 20th century. He designed a system of revolutionary exercises, which were meant to strengthen the mind and body by engaging and strengthening the “core”.
His students went on to open studios and teach Pilates to others, according to Joseph’s method and principles. Joseph Pilates remained, after his death, the sole owner of the Pilates trademark, in control of its intellectual property, until 2000.
Since then, the term Pilates has become mainstream and many hybrid, modern derivations have emerged, such as Pilates-inspired, or Pilates-based routines. That being said, make sure you get your money’s worth when choosing a Pilates studio or instructor.