Pilates at home

Pilates at Home

Pilates enthusiasts all across the globe are enjoying their

workouts in a place that almost seemed to be absurd until

recently - at home.

It used to be that a person had to go to a high-end studio

or a health club to take part in Pilates. Also, the

equipment was too expensive, big and bulky to drag home.

Here is something that changed everything - mat workouts.

The home users first discovered that Pilates mat videos and

various DVDs were able to give them refreshing full body


You are able to be very flexible when doing Pilates are

home. There are no schedules that you have to meet. You

will have to have a certain amount of self-discipline to be

able to set aside a block of time for three sessions a


Before you begin a Pilates program in your home, it is

highly recommended that you take a couple of classes in

order to familiarize yourself with the Pilates exercises.

You want to develop good techniques of movement and

breathing, and these are best demonstrated and explained by

a qualified instructor.

You will want to begin your Pilates exercises on a floor

mat. They are popular for two main reasons:

- They are inexpensive.

- The space needed to store a mat is minimal.

You will find a wealth of videos and DVDs to choose from.

Many of them include variations that will accommodate

beginners as well as advanced students of Pilates.

Some of them will include exercises where you will have to

use small inexpensive accessories like rollers and rings.

This will add interest and variety to your workout.

-There’s no place like home-.

Joseph pilates

Joseph Pilates

Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. In 1912 he

moved to England and earned a living as a boxer, a

circus performer and a self-defense trainer. During

World Was I he was sent to a camp in Lancaster where

he trained other inmates in fitness and exercises and

this is where the beginning of the Pilates method

stemmed from.

It was about 1925 when Joseph Pilates migrated to the

U. S. On the ship he came over on, he met his future

wife, Clara. In New York City, they began a studio and

taught and supervised students all the way until the


Pilates method of exercise used the mind to control

the muscles of the body. It focuses on the core

muscles of the abdomen to help keep the body balanced.

A balanced body provides support for the spine.

Pilates also teaches awareness of breathing and

alignment of the spine to strengthen the torso

muscles. Strong core muscles can help to relieve back

and neck pain.

When Joseph Pilates was a child, he was sickly,

suffering from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. It

was after this that he began to dedicate his life to

better health and becoming physically stronger.

By the age of 14, he was fit enough to post for

anatomical charts mostly due to his practicing of

gymnastics and bodybuilding.

Joseph believed the root of poor health came from poor

breathing practices and bad posture. His practice of

Pilates is undoubtedly the most popular form of

exercise today.

Pilates for rehabilitation

Pilates For Rehabilitation

It is said that because of the low impact of the

Pilates, it can be used for rehabilitation. Of course,

there are limitations, as you probably wont see

someone with a broken bone home in front of their DVD

player doing the Pilates.

It is important for those who want to do a program

like Pilates while rehabilitating from an injury, that

they first obtain permission from a physician.

It is also important that they go to a professional

instructor to prevent damage or further injury.

Joseph Pilates originally created his system of

exercises as a rehabilitation and conditioning tool to

improve his own health.

As a child he was constantly suffering from various

ailments including rickets, asthma and rheumatic

fever. During WWI Joseph Pilates continues to develop

and use his work to help in the rehabilitation of

wounded war veterans.

Many medical professionals today recognize the

benefits and therapeutic potential of this system and

many hospitals and clinics now offer Pilates as part

of their rehabilitation-training regimen.

The exercises are helpful to patients who are wounded

or physically challenged. Pilates balances and

strengthens the pelvis, hips, and low back and deep

support muscles.

These exercises help prevent muscle injuries and

minimize problems from pre-existing injuries.

Pilates has been proven effective in the treatment of

acute and chronic back pain, osteoporosis, sports

injuries, auto and work related injuries, head

injuries and scoliosis.

Pilates has made a significant contribution to

rehabilitation by allowing doctors to effectively

identify, develop and refine the movement a patient

can access. Even patients who are generally confined

to a wheelchair they can develop good core strength

and make the patient generally healthy.

Principals of pilates

Principals Of Pilates

Joseph Pilates, the creator of the pilates exercises,

claimed his method has a philosophical and theoretical

foundation. The exercises are not just a collection of

exercises, but a method developed and refined over

more than 80 years of use and observation.

The principals of centering, concentration, control,

precision, breathing and flowing movement are

comparable to those of yoga. There are some basic

principals of pilates.

One principal is mind over matter. The central aim of

pilates is to create a fusion of mind over body.

Without thinking about it, the body will move with

economy, grace and balance.

The end goal is a union of mind and body.

Practitioners believe that using the body to the

greatest advantage, making the most of its strengths,

counteracting its weakness and correcting the

imbalances within.

Breathing is also key in pilates. Breathing circulates

the blood so that it awakens the cells in the body.

They then carry away the waste that is related to

fatigue. For the blood to do its work, it needs to be

properly maintained and full of oxygen.

Centering and concentration are key in pilates.

Centering in pilates uses the abdomen, lower back,

hips and buttocks, also known as the powerhouse. This

is where all energies come from and flow outward to

the extremities.

Concentration is important because pilates demands

intense focus. Beginners need to pay close attention

to their bodies and build on delicate, small movements

and controlled breathing. Also, control and precision

are important. Every movement has a method and purpose

in pilates.

Pilates tips

Pilates Tips

In order for you to get the maximum benefit from your

Pilates workout, you may want to keep the following tips in


- Stay focused.

- Pilates was designed so that your breathing rhythm

combines with your body movements. Qualified Pilates

instructors will teach you ways to keep the rhythm of your

breathing in sync with the exercises.

You will also be instructed to keep your mind on your

muscles and exactly what you are doing. Pilates main goal

is to unite your mind with your body. This helps to relieve

anxiety and stress.

- Be comfortable.

- Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and bear in mind that

Pilates is typically done without shoes. If you start to

feel uncomfortable, experience pain or feel strained then

it is time to stop.

- Let it flow.

- As you perform your Pilates exercises you should avoid

any quick, jerky movements. Each movement should be slow,

but it should still be strong and flexible.

Joseph Pilates worked with dancers so it was his aim that

the movements would flow like a dance.

- Put your heart into it.

- One of the nice things about doing Pilates is that you

don’t even have to break a sweat.

However, you can choose to work the exercises quickly in an

effort to increase your heart rate, but at all times

keeping the movements fluid.

Since Pilates is mainly about strength and flexibility, you

may wish to pair your Pilates workout with an aerobic

exercise such as brisk walking or swimming.

Winsor pilates

Winsor Pilates

Mari Winsor, who is a 54 year old with the physique of

a 20 year old, invented Winsor Pilates. Her body is

lean and flexible unlike most people her age.

Mari Winsor made her form of Pilates for the use of

the majority of the public. It is a modified low

intensity version of the original Pilates.

The Winsor Pilates was created so anyone, even the

frailest of health could do it. It is accessible as

well as useful for anyone. This gives those people an

improvement in health without any fancy requirements

or methods.

It is said that because of the low impact of the

Winsor Pilates, it can be used for rehabilitation. Of

course, there are limitations, as you probably wont

see someone with a broken bone home in front of their

DVD player doing the Winsor Pilates.

It is important for those who want to do a program

like Winsor Pilates while rehabilitating from an

injury, that they first obtain permission from a


It is also important that they go to a professional

instructor to prevent damage or further injury.

Pregnant women must also take care when doing Pilates.

Even the reformed Winsor Pilates are not designed for

pregnant women.

During the third trimester, it is extremely important

that Pilates not be done lying down. They can damage

blood flow to the baby and cause serious problems.

All in all, except for pregnant women and the

extremely ill, Winsor Pilates can benefit everyone.

The exercises are easy on the bones and joint muscles.

Pilates principles

Pilates Principles

Joseph Pilates claimed that his exercise method has a

theoretical and a philosophical foundation.

It is not just a collection of exercises, but it is a

method that was developed and refined during its more than

eighty years of observation and use.

One interpretation of the Pilates Principles is that it is

similar to yoga.

Mind over matter - The central focus of Pilates is to

create a blending of mind and body.

The body will move with grace, economy and balance without

even thinking about it. The goal is to produce the union of

mind and body that is totally attention-free.

Breathing - Through proper breathing the blood is able to

work properly, that is, it circulates to every cell in the

body and carries away waste related to fatigue.

You can be assured that a full and thorough inhalation as

well as exhalation are part of each Pilates exercise.

Breathing should also be done with control, concentration

and precision.

Centering - The very large muscle group that is found in

the center of one’s body is called the - powerhouse-.

All of the energy for the Pilates exercises begins from

this powerhouse and flows toward the extremities.

Concentration - Pilates demands intense concentration or

focus. The beginner learns to pay special attention to his

or her body, building on small and delicate fundamental

movements as well as controlled breathing.

Control - The Pilates method is built on the premise of

muscle control. That means that each Pilates exercise must

be performed with utmost control.

This will help avoid injury and produce beneficial results.

Precision - Each movement in a Pilates exercise has a

purpose. No detail should be left out. The focus is to do

one precise and perfect movement and not many halfhearted


Pilates products for home use

Pilates Products for Home Use

There are three basic types of reformers that you can

purchase for using along with your Pilates workout:

Pilates IQ - Reformer - This can be set up within seconds

and can be stored under a bed or standing upright in a


This reformer is perfect for home use. It has a sleek

design, easy storability, professional features and has a

very affordable price tag. It is the only reformer that is

able to shorten for easy storage.

It comes with a free workout DVD or video and has a 2-year

warranty if it is not used commercially. The price will run

from $1,645.

Pilates Allegro ® Reformer - This is the most versatile

piece of equipment on today’s market. It was engineered and

built to be used commercially, but it is great for home


It adjusts to accommodate people of different heights. This

reformer comes with a free workout DVD or video and a

5-year warranty. You can purchase this baby at a price from


Studio Reformer ® - This durable piece of equipment is the

standard from which all reformers are measured. This model

is used by the world’s top Pilates professionals but is

also perfect for the home studio that requires the best.

This is the quietest, smoothest and most durable machine on

today’s market. It comes in walnut, cherry or mahogany. It,

too, comes with a free workout DVD or video, has custom

upholstery colors and has a limited lifetime warranty. You

can purchase this gem of a reformer for a price that starts

at $3,195.

You can also purchase other accessories such as mats, fit

balls, foam rollers, balance boards, rotator discs and

exercise bands.

Drawbacks to pilates

Drawbacks to Pilates

Instruction in the Pilates method can be quite costly.

These costs are justified by instructors due to their

expensive education, the cost of equipment and also the

cost of studio rentals.

Sometimes a person new to Pilates will be given individual

supervision until the instructor believes that the trainee

has developed enough knowledge to continue his or her

training in a group or a class.

Here is another less obvious drawback to consider. While

Pilates can serve to tone the transverse abdominis and

rectus muscles, when it is performed to often or wrongly,

it can cause an over-development in the internal and

external oblique muscles of the abdomen.

This usually results in a flat stomach but sometimes a

wider waist. This is because a lot of the Pilates exercises

are practiced through flexion while the torso moves in a

linear, forward fashion.

Exercising during pregnancy has been found to be important

for preventing musculoskeletal problems and for maintaining

muscle strength.

When Pilates is used in pregnancy, it has been found to

have many benefits both physically and mentally.

However, many exercises during pregnancy are

contra-indicated. The use of Pilates when a woman is

pregnant should first meet with the approval of her doctor.

Then it should only be used if one is being guided by a

qualified expert.

Legal action

In recent years, the term - Pilates - came under fire and

resulted in a lawsuit. However the U. S. federal court ruled

that this term was generic and was free for unrestricted


This has caused confusion among consumers because many

people do not know what Pilates really is and what

credentials they should look for in an instructor.

Pilates method

Pilates Method

If you are new to Pilates, you may not realize that it

is one of the fastest growing forms of exercise in the

world today. In the U. S., the numbers have reached an

astonishing 10.6 million participants.

The practice of Pilates is spreading around the world.

The Pilates method was developed from the

rehabilitation techniques of Joseph Pilates.

These methods teach about balancing body, mind and

soul to achieve the desired health benefits.

No matter your age, the sensible exercise program will

help you look and feel your best. No matter your age

or physical condition, the Pilates method can work for


Pilates works the core muscles and builds strength,

increases flexibility and agility, and the economy of

motion. Pilates has even been known to alleviate back

pain and other chronic ailments.

Pilates dramatically transforms the way your body

looks and feels as well as performs. Strength is built

without adding the excess bulk and helps to create a

sleek toned body, thinning out the thighs and

flattening the abdomen.

Pilates also teaches body awareness, good posture and

easy movement. Professional dancers have benefited

from the Pilates method for decades. Even athletes use

it for injury prevention and celebrities use it to

maintain their beautiful bodies.

The Pilates method may seem like a miracle with all of

its benefits and advantages. Pilates is a safe and

effective exercise program and the equipment is very

basic. The main piece of equipment is a floor mat,

though now there is also special equipment available.

But no matter your age or physical condition, Pilates

can work for you.

Forms of pilates

Forms of Pilates

Generally there are two forms of Pilates exercises.

There are mat-based exercises and equipment-bases

Pilates exercises. In Pilates, quality of exercises is


Exercises should be performed through a slow sustained

series of movements using abdominal control and proper


There are many books and videos available to the

consumer but it is important to seek instruction from

a qualified Pilates teacher to get the best results.

Mat-based Pilates exercises are generally the most

popular form of Pilates. This is a series of exercises

that are performed on the floor using gravity and your

bodies own weight to provide resistance.

The general aim of mat-based Pilates is to condition

the deeper supporting muscles of the body and to

improve the posture, balance and coordination.

Equipment-based Pilates is for the more serious

Pilates practitioner. This form of Pilates includes

specific equipment and some forms of equipment based

Pilates also include free weights such as dumbbells,

which offer resistance to the muscles. But equipment

can be costly and if not properly used could actually

hinder the body in muscle building and toning.

It is important that equipment is used properly,

therefore most people who practice equipment-based

Pilates do so under a proper Pilates trainer.

Though Pilates is very low-impact, it is important to

understand the general precautions before beginning a

Pilates regimen.

Certain people should seek medical advice before

embarking on a new program. Women who are pregnant

should certainly ask a doctor before doing any form of


Also, people over 40, people with pre-existing medical

conditions, musculoskeletal injuries or those who are

overweight or obese.

Pilates for the disabled

Pilates For The Disabled

Pilates is a series of about five hundred exercises

that Joseph Pilates created and were inspired by

calisthenics, yoga and ballet. These exercises work to

improve flexibility, strength, balance and body


Not only is Pilates a great physical experience

designed to strengthen the body’s core muscles, it is

also a wonderful spiritual experience designed to

focus the body on breathing. Good breathing practices

promote better blood flow in the body.

Since the 1920’s when Joseph Pilates created the

exercises to help injured athletes, dancers and later

war veterans, Pilates has been adapted to suit people

of the general community.

Pilates is a non-aerobic form of exercises that draws

strength from concentration and focus. The movements

are meant to be low impact and the focus is on

perfection of each movement instead of quantity of

reps done, quality over quantity.

Even though Pilates is a very low impact form of

exercise, it is important that is you have a

pre-existing medical condition that you first speak

with a doctor.

Pilates exercises improve flexibility and increase

muscle strength, particularly the abdominal muscles,

lower back, hips and buttocks. These are considered

the body’s core muscles.

Another benefit of the Pilates exercises are balanced

muscular strength on both sides of the body and

enhanced muscular control of the back and limbs.

Another great advantage is improved stabilization of

the spine, greater awareness of posture and improved

physical coordination and balance.

Pilates helps relax and strengthen the back, shoulders

and neck also. Many doctors have come to learn that

Pilates is also a safe rehabilitation for joint and

spinal injuries and the exercises when done properly

will help aid in prevention of musculoskeletal


Benefits of pilates

Benefits Of Pilates

Chances are, with the gain in popularity, you have

heard of Pilates and the benefits that come from

performing them on a regular basis.

Many people at all different health levels and fitness

levels who have started a Pilates program rave about

the improvements they have in range of motion,

circulation, posture and abdominal strength. They also

claim a huge decrease in back pain as well as neck and

joint pain.

The creator of Pilates, Joseph Pilates has now been

dead for over 40 years and the demand for his exercise

program has never been greater.

Pilates creates body awareness. The focus is on

precise movements coupled with steady breathing. All

of this required attention changes ones awareness. You

learn to train your mind and build symmetry and

coordination in the body.

Pilates teaches a person how to strengthen the core of

their body and this core strength helps radiate

strength throughout the entire body and its


A stronger core does not necessarily mean flat abs.

But the core strength will give your muscles the work

they need to further your exercises and create those

flatter abs.

You will definitely begin to trim the body down and

that will in turn cause a flatter mid section. Pilates

will shift your shape, but it ma not change your body

without added exercises. A flexible muscle is a

stronger muscle.

Another benefit of Pilates is body control. Pilates

teaches you how to move and achieve the all important

body symmetry. Pilates works the entire body into

synergy and that is how we should be moving on a daily


Personal pilates exercise

Personal Pilates Exercise

If you stick with Pilates faithfully, it will dramatically

change the way your body feels, looks and performs.

Pilates builds strength without having to worry about

excess bulk. It will create a sleek, toned body that has a

flat abdomen and slender thighs.

Pilates teaches good posture, body awareness and easy,

graceful movements. It will improve you agility,

flexibility and economy of motion.

It can also help to relieve back pain. Professional dancers

have been using Pilates for decades.

Many of your top athletes use it for flexibility, strength

and injury prevention. Supermodels and Hollywood

celebrities use it Pilates to maintain beautiful bodies.

Is this some sort of miracle? No, not really. Pilates is an

exercise system that is very safe and sensible and was

developed by Joseph Pilates.

He developed the Pilates method for the rehabilitation of

injured veterans returning from World War I.

You can either use a floor mat or other equipment and

accessories which will help you feel and look your very

best. Regardless of your condition or age, Pilates will

work for you

Pilates develops a strong center of the body or - core-.

This is composed of the deep abdominal muscles and the

muscles that are closest to the spine.

The exercises help you develop core control while

integrating the pelvis, trunk and should girdle.

Pilates will do the following for you:

- It will help build strength without - bulking up-.

- It will increase flexibility and agility.

- You will develop optimal core control.

- It will help create flat abs, slender thighs as well as a

strong back.

- It is a refreshing workout of the mind and body.

- Pilates is challenging yet safe.

What is pilates

What Is Pilates

There are countless numbers of exercise programs on

the market that make empty promises with little

results to show from the intense workouts.

Pilates, however, is not one of those who offer empty

promises. The Pilates program offers low impact

exercises, which balance the body as well as the mind.

The program focuses on the core postural muscles.

These muscles are what keep the body balanced and

provide support to the spine. Pilates teaches

awareness of breathing and alignment of the spine.

Pilates was built on the idea of muscle control. Each

movement is regulated and there are no sloppy,

uncontrolled movements.

Every Pilates exercise must be performed with exact

control of all body parts to avoid injury and produce

positive results. Pilates doesn’t focus on intensity

or multiple reps, but proper form and effective


Precision is also key in Pilates. Every movement has a

purpose. Every instruction is important to the success

of the program. Leaving out any details forsakes the

intrinsic value of the exercise.

The focus is more on doing one perfect and precise

movement instead of halfhearted ones. This precision

becomes second nature and carries over into everyday


Concentration is just as important as control and

precision. Pilates demands intense focus. Beginners

learn to pay attention to their bodies and build very

small delicate fundamental movements and controlled


There have even been studies in providing relief from

the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Centering plays

an important part in Pilates.

By centering parts of the body such as the abdomen,

lower back, hips and buttocks, also known as the

powerhouse, the body is able to draw energy and flow

it outwards to the extremities.

History of pilates

History of Pilates

Pilates was designed by Joseph Pilates during World

War I to improve the rehabilitation program for the

returning veterans. Joseph Pilates had the belief that

both mental health and physical health are essential

to one another.

He recommended some precise body movements that

control and form to aid injured soldiers. These

movements were used to regain their health by

strengthening, stretching and stabilizing the key

muscles in the body.

He created the Pilates Principles to condition the

whole body aiding in proper alignment, centering,

concentration, control, precision, breathing and

flowing movement.

The Pilates method is a physical fitness system, which

Joseph Pilates developed in the early 20th century. As

of 2005, there are eleven million people who practice

pilates regularly.

There are also 14,000 instructors in the United States

alone. Pilates believed his method uses the mind to

control the muscles. Focuses for this program are on

the core postural muscles, which help keep the body


These are essential to providing support for the spine

and in turn supports the entire body. Pilates teaches

awareness of breathing and the alignment of the spine

and aim to strengthen the deep torso muscles.

Joseph Pilates was a legendary physical fitness

trainer born in Germany in 1880. As a child he was

small and frail. This fuelled his fascination for

physical fitness that would make him stronger and more

physically attractive.

He later became an accomplished skier, boxer and

gymnast. In 1926, he and his wife opened their first

studio in New York City. Many of their first clients

were from the dancing world.

Getting started with pilates

Getting Started with Pilates

One of the great things about Pilates is that it is suited

for just about everyone no matter if you are a couch potato

or a fitness buff.

Due to the fact that Pilates has gained a lot of notoriety

recently, there are many classes available.

You will probably find that many YMCAs and fitness centers

offer Pilates, mostly associated with mat work.

There are some Pilates instructors who offer private

classes. These may be purchased either separately one class

at a time or in blocks of classes.

These sessions may combine both mat and machine work. If

your health club has Pilates machines available to its

members, make sure that you receive supervision from a

qualified Pilates instructor.

As with anything, there are right and wrong ways of doing

things and Pilates is no exception.

The fact that Pilates is hot right now and classes are

springing up like mushrooms also has a downside. You may

receive inadequate instruction.

As is the case with any form of exercise, you can cause

injury to yourself if you have a certain health condition

or you do not know exactly what you are doing.

Some gyms think that just by sending their personal

trainers to a weekend-long course that they are qualified

to begin teaching Pilates. This is not true and can lead to


You want to find an instructor who has been certified by a

group that boasts of a rigorous training program. This

training program consists of several hundred hours of being

instructed in Pilates ALONE.

They have the knowledge to modify the exercises so that a

new student will not get hurt.

Pilates history

Pilates History

This physical fitness system was developed by Joseph

Pilates in the early 20th century. As of 2005, there were

11 million people who practiced this method regularly and

there were approximately 14,000 instructors in the U. S.A.

Pilates names his method of exercise Contrology as he

believed that his Pilates Method used one’s mind to control

the body’s muscles.

The program’s main focus is on the core postural muscles.

These help to keep the body balanced, and these muscles

also help to provide support for the spine.

Pilates exercises make a person aware of breath and the

alignment of the spine. An emphasis is also placed on

strengthening the deep torso muscles which are so important

in helping to alleviate and prevent back pain.

Joseph Pilates first formed this method during World War I

in an effort to improve the rehabilitation program that

would be needed by many of the returning veterans.

He believed that physical and mental health are essential

to each other. His precise movements emphasized form and

control to help the injured soldiers regain their health by

stretching, strengthening and stabilizing key muscles.

-The Pilates Principles - were created by Joseph Pilates to

condition the entire body which includes proper alignment,

concentration, precision, flowing movement, centering,

control and breathing.

You can expect a Pilates session to help increase strength

and flexibility, align the spine and lengthen the body. The

Pilates method does not build muscle mass.

The fields of rehabilitation and fitness encourage Pilates

for its focus on the lower back muscles as well as those of

the abdomen.