Stimulate Your Core – And Mind – With Something New
When it comes to working-out, some workout routines can seem a bit daunting, especially if you’re a beginner jumping head-first into a weight or treadmill routine all on your own. This can be intimidating mentally, not to mention hard on your joints after time physically. If you’re looking for a routine that has the capacity to change your body and way of thinking by allowing a sense of control back into your life, Pilates may be just what you’ve been looking for.
Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates in Germany, the UK and the United States. Pilates uses a body-weight resistance training technique to increase strength and muscle, while—and perhaps most importantly—emphasizing the stretch of each muscle being toned. According to Pilates, the stretch is a key component often forgotten in traditional exercise that allows for that that long, lean, affect we all so desperately seek.
For some participants of this exercise method, it has been said Pilates can actually change the body you were born with into a longer, leaner version of yourself. While this claim is in debate amongst some fitness trainers, celebrity participants, such as Jennifer Aniston, who’s body famously seemed to transform before our very eyes, is no-doubt a contributor to at least some of the 11 million + followers of this practice today.
Whether you are looking to lose weight, tone, or believe this method really can change your body-type; read on to discover the main benefits you can expect from this practice.
HOLLYWOOD ICONS DEVOTED TO PILATES
- Jennifer Aniston
- Courtney Cox
- Cindy Crawford
- Gwyneth Paltrow
- Sarah Jessica Parker
- Uma Therman
- Charlize Theron
- Vanessa Williams
- Jamie Lee Curtis
- Minnie Driver
- Kim Catrall
- Jessica Lange
1 Core Strength
We’ve all heard it or read it at least once: What makes Pilates different is that it focuses on core strength. Okay, we get it! … but what does that mean exactly? Many people hear this phrase and think it means they will get a flatter stomach. This is true to a certain extent. Pilates will use strength techniques to build the muscles that make-up the back, stomach, and obliques for a stronger core. However, experts from WebMD emphasize the most important component to getting a flatter stomach is watching what you eat along with practicing core-strengthening exercises like Pilates. Do not expect to get the stomach flattening results your co-worker is claiming without being willing to do the work and practice self-control.
2 Body Control
Speaking of self-control, Pilates uses the method of Controlology, which is believed to use the mind to control the body’s muscles and the outcome. The idea is to use this method to increase one’s strength and flexibility, allowing for long-term results for the body and the mind. While the topic is not something we consciously think about each day, control is the answer to many of life’s anxieties; from office-work, to weight-loss, to holding back that rude comment during an argument – the ability to control one’s self is powerful. The issue? Self-control is not exactly an easy trait to master. Due to it’s requirement for intense focus, concentration and beginning each pose centered on a strong abdomen, if practiced regularly, Pilates can teach you to control your body and mind during each movement. The result is described as a stronger sense of personal awareness and physical responsibility.
3 Long Lean Muscles
Some personal trainers state women are not genetically built to be bulky, yet many women feel they get “builkier” when they train with weights and end-up not strength training at all. The problem with that is, strength training is a must when it comes to staying in-shape, because unlike cardio alone, it has proven to boost your metabolism even when you’re not working-out. So, if you are seeking long, lean and toned muscles, but frown on the idea of lifting traditional weights, Pilates could be your solution. By using your own weight in resistance training to hold specific poses followed by stretching of the muscle, your body works synergistically to tone and literally stretch-out the muscle allowing for that long, lean effect. Over time, the results will be lost inches on your waistline, arms, and legs—giving participants that “new body” feel with continued practice and paired with a healthy diet.
4 Building Blocks
Pilates teaches its participants physically and metaphorically that each technique can build upon one-another to reach progress. By starting with a strong core, then inner focus and then to branch (or stretch out), one can develop and change their body, habits and life in ways they never knew possible.