Archive for the ‘Pilates’ Category

Hillary Duff’s Happy, Healthy New Shape

Hillary Duff shares her healthy ways with Health.com.  Here is one celebrity setting a good example (unlike some) who has a lifestyle that you can mirror for a healthier you!

Don’t let the “former teen star” description fool you: Hilary Duff is one young celeb who truly has it together. You won’t find the ex-Lizzie McGuire star landing in the tabloids because of hard-partying ways.

Instead, the 23-year-old actress/singer has made headlines by getting married (to pro hockey player Mike Comrie) and adding to her ridiculously impressive resume: In October, the actress/singer released her first book, a young-adult novel called “Elixir.” Here, Hilary chats with Health about what she loves about writing, which workout she swears by, and her hard-earned secret to body confidence.

Q: What’s your definition of living healthy?

A: Moderation is key. Eating healthily all the time can be boring — you know, when you take apart the menu and ask for everything on the side?

Balance makes me feel good: I feel most healthy when I enjoy small bites of the things I love. I used to feel bad about eating French fries — I’d think that I had blown my diet. But you have to think, That’s OK, I’ll eat healthier tomorrow.

Q: What are your favorite good-for-you snacks?

A: Recently, I have been eating a lot of vegetables and hummus and fruit — stuff I never really liked before. If I am hungry before bed, I will grab a handful of blueberries. Greek yogurt is one of my favorite things in the whole world.

Sometimes I’ll chop up a bunch of veggies and put them in a food processor with Greek yogurt and make a dip. It’s better if I snack throughout the day, because if I get hungry, Mike says I get “hangry,” which is hungry-angry. It’s not good.

Q: Do you have any guilty-pleasure foods?

A: I love cheese. I would probably eat any kind you put in front of me! And I like healthy things with a high fat content, like dark chocolate and avocado.

Q: You’re into Pilates, right?

A: I was a gymnast when I was little, so I think Pilates is really important to helping me stay long and lean. I try to do it three times a week. I also do circuit training. Before I wasn’t doing much cardio — just Pilates — and I wasn’t getting the same results, so I bumped up my cardio and do circuits probably twice a week.

Q: You intensified your workouts (with trainer Harley Pasternak) before your August wedding. Have you kept that up?

A: I was kind of burned out afterward, so I relaxed a bit, but now I am starting to feel the effects. I probably won’t be as hard on myself, but I do want to stay on top of it. It’s a constant battle.

Q: What are your tricks for making workouts fun?

A: Making sure I work out with people I can talk to. Sometimes my sister [Haylie] and I will work out together, and we laugh the whole time, so it goes by faster. I can also read a script or book while on the elliptical. I joke with Mike that I have better than 20-20 vision.

Q: Do you have any health regrets?

A: I got pretty skinny when I was between 17 and 19. I don’t know what exactly made me get on that kick, but at the time I was starting to become aware of what people said about me and how I looked in pictures. I literally ate nothing but steamed vegetables and broiled or grilled chicken, with nothing else.

I was touring at the time, traveling everywhere, and I felt so run down. Not giving your body enough of what it needs is really dangerous. I regret it because I don’t think I was happy then.

Q: You endured scrutiny about your weight when you were still a teenager. How did you handle that?

A: It sucked. I was 16 and my body was still changing and people would say I was too heavy. And then I would lose weight and my face would get skinny and people would say I had done something to my face and that I was too skinny.

It must have been really hard because I’ve blocked it out a little. At the time, I felt almost proud of being skinny, but one day the mother of a fan came up to me and said, “Are you OK? Are they not feeding you?”

After that, all of a sudden, I stopped being as concerned about everything. It wasn’t a big intervention or anything. I got off tour and changed. I started hanging out with my friends and cooking and had a more normal life.

Q: You seem comfortable in your own skin now. What’s the key to body confidence?

A: I have issues and insecurities just like everybody else. It really helps to have a partner that loves everything about you and makes you feel really beautiful. Not that you should look for other people to make you feel good about yourself, but it does help.

Other than that, I really do feel like working out has helped because you’re working hard for something. You feel stronger and a little more powerful. There’s no trick, though. I hate my arms. Nobody is ever perfect, but it helps to look for things to feel good about, rather than things to feel bad about.

Q: Your first novel, “Elixir,” came out in October. What made you want to write a young-adult book?

A: It was a few years ago, and I asked myself, “What do I want to do? How can I spend time with Mike?” I wanted to be able to reach out to my fans, and writing was something creative I could do, even when I was traveling with him.

Q: After releasing four albums, you put your music career on hold. Think you’ll return to the studio?

A: I want to act. That is what I want to focus on more, but it’s all about timing and finding the right role.

Q: Did any of the older Disney alums give you advice when you were starting out?

A: I think people imagine it that way, that you have these deep conversations about how to manage your way through this craziness. I’ve met Justin [Timberlake] and Britney [Spears] a few times, but it’s not like they’ve said, “Here, sit down, listen to me kid.”

Q: You filmed a threesome scene on “Gossip Girl” last season. What was that like?

A: I went into my wardrobe fitting one day and was trying on lingerie. I asked them why I was trying on so much lingerie, and they were like, “Oh, you don’t know? You’re having a threesome scene.” My first thought was, “How am I going to tell my mother?”

Q: How have things changed between you and Mike since getting married?

A: I think we already felt married before we were married because we had a really strong commitment to each other. I did feel different after the wedding, going through the steps and saying those words to one another, but now things have settled down and gone back to normal.

Q: Do you have special plans for your first Thanksgiving as newlyweds?

A: For the last few years [Mike] has been in Canada and they do Thanksgiving on a different day. I don’t know if my mom is going to come or where we’ll be.

But I love to bake! On Thanksgiving, I make pecan pie and pumpkin pie. Before the wedding I was baking all the time and giving it away and my friends were like, “We know what you are doing — you are making us eat it [so you don’t eat it]. This is mean!”

Pilates Myth

A lot of women are told (by uninformed, or downright dishonest, Pilates instructors) that traditional weight lifting will make muscles shorter and more compact.  They go on to say that Pilates training will lengthen muscles and give that lean, long, beautiful appearance.  Unfortunately, this is not possible.  Both forms of exercise condition and train a muscle.

Both forms of exercise will deplete muscles of glycogen, in turn pushing them to their limits and allowing them to grow back with greater strength.  However, Pilates is great for improving the core muscles and strength.  This in turn corrects postural defects and allows individuals to stand taller.  By improving postural awareness you may LOOK longer and leaner.  While there isn’t a physiological basis by which Pilates creates longer muscles, the fact you are now standing up straight and maintaining better posture will give that impression.

To debunk another myth often told in the Pilates world: traditional weightlifting does NOT make a muscle short and bulky.  It is possible to gain flexibility in your body by performing weightlifting and following a full range of motion.  This isn’t to say you will develop more flexibility than you would during a Pilates routine, but to say weightlifting will make your muscles bulky is just false.

Something weightlifting does that Pilates does not however, is help you maintain bone density.  Weight bearing exercises are not only good for your muscles, but good for your bones.  Bone density depletion begins occurring in most women in their mid-30’s.  The best defense against osteoporosis is a consistent workout plan that includes ample amounts of weightlifting. 

During our mid-30’s we start to pack on body fat as our body chemistry begins to change.  To combat this, adding muscle mass to the body is well advised.  For each pound of muscle you add to your frame, your body must work harder to maintain it.  What this results in is an elevated metabolism which will have you burning more calories at rest than an individual of the same weight, but with less muscle mass.  Adding muscle is fantastic for burning fat.

Best bet:  Combine a full body workout plan 2-3 times a week along with your Pilates class.  Both forms of exercise are great in certain aspects, but when combined together will produce unbelievable results.

Doing Pilates at Home on an Exercise Ball

As you probably know by now, Share It Fitness will be bringing you live pilates classes directly to your homes.  Our goal is to show you that doing pilates, yoga, bootcamp, whatever doesn’t need to be done in an expensive studio.  You can have access to the same, or better quality trainers directly on the Share It Fitness website.

Pilates, for instance, is often done on an expensive reformer machine.  People pay good money to do their pilates on this machine led by an instructor.  However, pilates is versatile in that you can reap the same benefits by performing pilates with slider pads, your own body weight, or an exercise ball.  All you need is a certified instructor who can lead you through the motions.  It’s time we think outside the box and begin to step away from the broken business model that has health and fitness instructors making the same as doctors and lawyers.  Share It Fitness is here to show you how to achieve fitness through various means but without paying the exorbitant fees.

Below are some pilates exercises that are accomplished with nothing more than an exercise ball and a little space at home.  Enjoy.

Pilates and Golf

Pilates is one of the most popular exercises of choice these days. Madonna does it, Jason Kidd does it, and you may have heard that Tiger and Annika do it. It is documented that Camilo Villegas does it . . . you need to be pretty strong and very lithe to lay down on a green and read putts the way Camilo does! He is in top physical condition, you can tell by looking at him. Pilates and golf are a natural blend. All of the muscles required for golf are trained during Pilates. Both matwork and apparatus work fit the bill for training golfers.

What is Pilates and makes it a great exercise for golf?

Pilates is an exercise system in which all work is based from the core or center of the body. Generally these muscles include the abdominals, obliques, lats and glutes. While the extremities are distinctly involved, the base of movement, the core, is always stabilized to allow for maximum range of motion (ROM) and support. The Pilates system of exercise was developed by Joseph Pilates, who was born in the late 1800s and came to the US in the mid-1920s. Pilates requires control, concentration, mind-body awareness, flowing movement and precision which sounds a lot like golf. There are many benefits to doing Pilates, one of which is correcting imbalances in the body which can be monumental in keeping golfers healthy and playing longer!

What are the best Pilates exercises for golfers?

Because men and women generally differ in strength and flexibility, we’ll present some Pilates matwork exercises for each that address those differences along with step-by-step instructions on how to perform the exercise. Before beginning the exercises it is important to talk about breathing and how it should be done; breath will facilitate and enhance the movements. In the Stott Pilates instructor training manual, breath is explained as follows:

“A relaxed and full breath pattern focuses the mind and allows concentration on
each task. Exhaling deeply can also help activate the deep abdominal muscles. In
all exercises the breath and awareness of stabilization should occur before the
actual movement.”

How to Breathe?

Lay on your back with your hands around your ribcage, knees bent with feet flat on the floor. Inhale deeply through the nose and try to expand the ribcage laterally. You should feel the spaces between the ribs open and the back ribs expand toward the floor. The chest should be still; avoid breathing into the chest and shoulders. Exhale through the mouth making sure to expend ALL the air in your lungs. You will feel the ribcage contract and the spaces between the ribs close, the bottom front
ribs will pull down toward the navel. If you have trouble finding this breath, try to perform it seated (or standing) with a towel wrapped around your ribs. You should feel the pressure against the towel on the inhale and then feel the pressure decrease on the exhale.

Pilates and Golf exercises for Women

Women tend to lack upper body strength because they have fewer muscles fibers in their upper body relative to men. However they are usually quite flexible and sometimes even hyper-mobile, especially young golfers. Therefore it is important to focus on increasing upper body strength while increasing stability. Some mat exercises that will address those issues include:

Push-ups are a great overall strengthener. When done properly, works
on shoulder and hip stability as well as targeting strength in the triceps, biceps, shoulders and lats.

  • Starting from a standing position, crown of the head lifting toward the ceiling, spine long, take an inhale breath
  • Exhale, nod your head and sequentially release the spine forward, releasing all the way down until your hands are on the floor (bend your knees when you need to)
  • Inhale and walk the hands forward into a plank/push-up position (for those who find it difficult to maintain the position with legs fully extended, the knees can be on the floor)
  • Exhale for a count of 3 as you lower the upper body, maintaining a neutral spine (no dipping in the hips to overextend the low back)
  • Inhale and press back up to fully extend the arms
  • Repeat 3 times
  • Inhale to walk the hands back to come to the forward bend position (knees bent however much you need them to be)
  • Exhale and slowly start to stack the spine from the tailbone to the crown of the head, coming back to the tall, standing position

Leg Pull Front is also a great overall strengthener. The exercise addresses stability in the entire torso, mobility in the calves and hips, and strength in the arms,
shoulders and spinal extensors.

  • Begin in a push-up position. Inhale and lift one leg as high as possible without letting the hips rotate. Keep the lifted foot flexed (toes toward shin bone)
  • Exhale and point the toes of the lifted foot while simultaneously pulling the toes on the bottom foot more toward the shin bone and shifting the entire body back slightly.
  • Inhale, shift the body back forward while flexing the toes on the lifted foot
  • Exhale and return the lifted foot to the floor.
  • Repeat 5 times, alternating sides each time.

Leg Pull Up is similar to leg Pull Front but facing upward, this exercise requires hip and shoulder stability, deep core engagement and upper body strength.

  • Sit on a mat with arms behind you, shoulders over wrists and legs extended, slightly turned out with toes pointed. Lift hips off of mat to bring the ankles, hips and shoulders in a line.
  • Exhale and lift one leg as high as possible without dropping hips or letting them rotate.
  • Inhale and flex the foot of the extended leg as you lower it down, not touching the floor.
  • Repeat the lift & lower motion 3 times, on the last one, release the foot to the floor while letting the foot return to a pointed position.
  • Repeat the exercise 4 times, alternating sides each time.

Pilates and Golf exercises for Men

Men tend to have less body awareness than women. Therefore, the breath and breathing techniques will be a major component of Pilates work for men. Learning to articulate the spine (move one bone of the vertebrae at a time) will increase awareness and mobility of the pelvis. Some exercises to increase this awareness and to help increase hip strength include:

Hip Rolls is although considered to be a warm-up exercise, this will help you understand how to articulate your spine as well as strengthen the glutes (muscles required for power and stability in a golf swing) and hamstrings.

  • Lay down on your back on a mat with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart, a comfortable distance from your rear end. Inhale and feel your spine lengthen.
  • Exhale and tilt your hip bones back towards the mat (think of flattening your low back). Continue to exhale as you lift the tailbone, then low back, then mid-back off of the mat. Think of peeling your spine off the mat one vertebra at a time. Coming to rest on the upper back.
  • Inhale and hold in the lifted hip position feeling the breath expand the ribcage
  • Exhale and slowly return the spine back to the mat, again thinking about sequentially
    releasing one bone at time down to the mat
  • Repeat approximately 5 times

Bridge is an exercise similar to Hip Rolls but adds a greater strength component for the gluteal muscles.

  • Lay down on your back on a mat with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart, a comfortable distance from your rear end.
  • Inhale and feel your spine lengthen
  • Exhale and lift the hips, trying to bring them in a line with the shoulders and knees (NO pain should be felt in the low back)
  • Inhale and lift one foot off the floor, bending the hip. Extend the leg reaching the toes toward the ceiling without dropping hips or letting them rotate.
  • Exhale and flex the foot of the extended leg while simultaneously lowering the leg to bring it in line with the thigh of the supporting leg.
  • Repeat the lift & lower motion 3 times, on the third repetition bring the extended leg back to the floor and repeat on the other leg.
  • Inhale and feel the spine lengthen
  • Exhale return hips to floor
  • Repeat the sequence 3 times

Roll Up is an exercise that really challenges the deep abdominal muscles and shoulder (scapular) stabilizers. The two phases of the exercise, the up motion and the down motion challenge the body in different ways.

  • Repeat approximately 6 times.
  • Lay on your back with arms extended over your head, legs extended with heels resting on the mat, feet flexed. Make sure the shoulder blades are pressed down with the top of shoulders moving away from the ears.
  • Inhale and lift the arms toward the ceiling, wrists in line with the shoulders, feel the spine lengthen.
  • Exhale and nod the head, slowing begin to peel the spine off the mat one vertebra at a time (sequentially rolling up). Reach the hands toward the feet flexing the spine forward, keeping the arms parallel to the floor.
  • Inhale and stack the spine, initiating from the tailbone, lift the crown of the head toward the ceiling.
  • Exhale and pull the hip bones back (pelvic tuck) and slowly place one bone at a time back to the mat (sequentially rolling down). Once the head is back down, reach the arms overhead.

The exercises presented are a small sampling of the Pilates matwork repertoire, all of which can greatly benefit golfers and other athletes. These Pilates and golf exercises can be made more or less difficult by adding small props such as flex bands, small balls and large stability balls. Many DVDs are available that can help you with a program. However, it is important to understand the nuances of the movements. There are many Pilates instructors who are highly skilled and are trained through reputable certifying bodies such as The PhysicalMind Institute, Stott Pilates and Polestar. These certifying bodies require several hundred hours of intense instruction and guided, supervised teaching. It is critical to seek an expert in this field who will ensure your safety and help you achieve the greatest benefits for your golf game. I’m sure Camillo will attest to that!

Article Via Fitnessorlando.com

Pilates 13 FAQ with Ana Caban

1.  What is Pilates?

Ana: Pilates is a full-body exercise system that uses a series of machines and exercises. It works the entire body, both the right and left sides, in unison. It focuses primarily on what Joseph Pilates called the “powerhouse” or the group of muscles that begins two inches below your navel, goes two inches above your navel and then wraps completely around your front and your back-kind of like a corset. It also includes your buttocks. With Pilates, no matter what exercise you’re doing, you are focusing on this powerhouse area.

2. What is a typical beginning Pilates excersise like?

The first exercise you do is “the hundreds” which consists of 10 breaths of 10 counts to equal 100. You lie on the floor, lift your legs up to about a 45 degree angle, or wherever you can hold them, and keep your back flat. While holding your legs in the air you engage the abdominals and lift your head and shoulders off the mat so you are in a scoop. Then you pump your arms by your side, almost as if you were slapping on water, pumping them up and down.

Because both your legs and head are up in the air it forces the blood to go to your heart and pumping your arms back and forth forces the blood through your body. You’re getting your circulation going and stimulating your organs making it both an internal and an external workout. 

3. How is Pilates different from other forms of exercise?

Pilates is different from most exercises out there because it’s non-impact and safe, and it really works on using the body as a whole. You’re either lying on your back, on your side or kneeling on the floor where it’s safe. When you move the body, you’re trying to move it from the powerhouse, using your abdominal wall to protect your back. You’re also working the body very evenly and symmetrically, making sure one side is not working harder than the other.

4. What would you say is the key difference between yoga and Pilates?

There’s definitely a mind-body connection and a very similar fluidity in both. But one difference is that there’s a whole line of equipment in Pilates that doesn’t exist in yoga, so it provides a different angle: You’re doing exercises with the assistance and resistance of springs and pulleys. The springs may assist you or they may make an exercise more difficult, depending on the exercise.

5. How do I know if Pilates will benefit me?

I can’t say that it’s great for everyone in every scenario, but in my experience, I’ve only had clients feel better after doing it. Injuries begin to cause less discomfort or go away completely.

Pilates can help you lose weight, get relief from back pain, tone your trouble spots, or recover from injury. It’s also being used more and more as therapy to help people with certain serious illnesses such as cancer [read more about Pilates therapy for cancer patients here].

6. Is Pilates a cardiovascular workout?

Initially the workout is slow moving because everything is being explained to you. Eventually, once you learn the workout and you’re going through the motions, it becomes aerobic. You can get a cardiovascular workout when you’re on the equipment and working on an advanced level because it’s more physical. And some classes and Pilates DVDs alternate classic Pilates moves with sequences of heart-rate boosting exercises for a double-duty effect. You have to work towards it, but Pilates can be cardiovascular.

7. Many claim that Pilates reshapes the body. How does it do this?

Pilates has completely transformed my body and the bodies of most of my clients. I think it comes from using the powerhouse and really focusing on and strengthening the abdominal wall, teaching it to lay flat and be strong. If the stomach is sticking out, you’re going to train it to stick out. In Pilates you’re always thinking of this inward pull as if the navel is going in towards the spine and then lifting up slightly, pulling all of your abdominal wall very flat.

You also make long, fluid, larger motions that lengthen and stretch the muscles.

If you’re consistent with it and make a commitment to yourself, you can see a change in your body.

8. Pilates machines look like torture devices! Why would I want to get on something like that?
Some Pilates equipment can look like some kind of medieval torture device, which is ironic because it makes you feel so good. The most commonly used pieces are the reformer, the cadillac and the mat, but there are several other small pieces of equipment, too.

The reformer is a rectangular frame with four legs and a cushioned mat, or carriage, that slides back and forth on wheels with the resistance of springs and pulleys.

The cadillac is a trapeze-like table that’s 26 inches off the floor and has a canopy from which a trapeze, springs and pulleys hang. Because it’s elevated, it’s nice for older people if they have trouble getting down on the floor.

Finally, there’s the mat — the ideal apparatus for Pilates because there’s nothing helping you. It’s only you, your body weight and your alignment making the exercises fluid, controlled and precise. Get advice here on whether you should do Pilates on a mat vs. on a Pilates machine.

9. What should I look for in a Pilates instructor?

Because Pilates is so hot right now, there are a lot of different organizations claiming to offer certification using the movements of Joseph Pilates. So it’s important to use your judgement and really get a feel for an instructor. Become knowledgeable about their certification and education — and their years of experience.

I studied for 600 hours. When I finished those 600 hours of observation, practice and written and practical exams, I had barely scratched the surface.

Also, make sure they have insurance. Ask questions.

10. How often should I do Pilates? Is it like weight training in that you need to rest your muscles for 48 hours between workouts?

Pilates is safe enough to do every day. Initially you may want to do it every day so you get a rhythm and become consistent; then a good goal is to do it every other day. Joseph Pilates used to say to do it three times a week.

11. Can you talk about the six “principles” of Pilates?

1. Concentration. This is the most important principle in Pilates. You must be very mentally present as you do the exercises, aware of every aspect of your body’s movement, alignment, sensations, muscle flexes ….

2. Control. Every movement is to be done with control, so you aren’t just throwing your body around.

3. Centering, so that you are evenly using your body. Think of a plumb line down the middle of the body working both sides evenly.

4. Fluidity. A smooth transition from one exercise to the next important because once you’ve learned the routine, it should look something like a dance, where every movement flows into the next.

5. Precision. You try to make each movement as precise as possible; alignment, placement of your limbs, postion of each part of your body is paramount and a central aspect of how and why Joseph Pilates designed this system of exercise.

6. Breath. How you breathe is very important in Pilates exercises. You don’t want to hold your breath at all. Deep, steady breaths will help you maintain concentrationa and precision, too.

12. Will my body be sore after a Pilates class?

Feeling sore is a very individual thing. Some people don’t feel sore. Pilates is what you put into it. If you’re really conscious and making an effort to make every movement count, you’ll most likely feel something the following day. It also has to do with your athleticism. If you’ve been sedentary, you’re probably going to feel it more than someone who’s very active. It’s all relative. 

13. How can beginners get the most benefit from Pilates?

Be consistent, especially in the beginning. Don’t just try it once. Give it a few shots and do it in succession. Make it your reward, your break from a hectic day. Also, listen to your body and really concentrate — it makes for a better workout.

Someone once told me that you need to “arrive” for Pilates, meaning you have to be there mentally as well as physically. To get the most out of Pilates, you have to be very present. Your body and mind will thank you.

Intro to Mat Pilates

Mat pilates is a form of the discipline that is performed without need for a reformer.  For this reason, mat pilates are often performed in live classes, with an instructor leading the session.  A great foundation of muscles are built while training with mat pilates.  The benefit of having a live instructor over using pre-recorded video clips is that the training will adapt with you and your skill level.  If you want to work on a particular goal, a live instructor will be able to work that into your mat pilates training session.  Share It Fitness will be offering 1 on 1 and group mat pilates classes all done via webcam from the comfort of your own home.  For the time being, check out the clip above and others like it so you can have a better understanding of what mat pilates in action really looks like.

Top Six Benefits of Pilates Exercise

The best part about all of these, YOU DON”T NEED TO SPEND $30+ an hour in a pilates studio to get these same exercise routines and results.  A pilates instructor and a mat at home are all you need.  ShareitFitness.com will be there to provide you exactly that.

1. Makes You into Muscle Man

If want a long, lean look without bulky muscles, but with all the strength. Would you like to build strength and endurance without getting the muscle man look? If so, pilates may be just what you have been searching for.

2. Increases the Strength of Stabilizer Muscles

There are many benefits that one can achieve through a proper use of the pilates program. One of the most significant points of the pilates program is it’s ability to increase the strength of stabilizer muscles that may not commonly be worked out in a standard exercise program.

3. A Mind-Body Workout That Strengthens Your Whole Body

Another one of the benefits of Pilates is that it engages the mind and enhances body awareness. Like yoga, tai chi, and Asian martial arts, Pilates is not just a workout for your body. Joseph H. Pilates studied yoga, martial arts, and other ancient mind-body activities and included a strong philosophical foundation into the practice of Pilates.

4. Pilates Strengthens Your Core like No Other Exercise

Another one of the benefits of Pilates is that the increased amount of strength that one can achieve in the ‘core’ of the body. The term core refers to the muscles in and around the area of the abdominal muscles and the back.
Proper breathing control is also stressed in pilates, adding to the numerous list of benefits that one can attain through regular use of the exercise program.

5. Prevents You from Future Injuries

Pilates strengthens your body and helps prevent future injuries. Pilates helps to condition the whole body, not just certain muscles. This helps balance the muscle and strength of the body. Since no set of muscles is ever over or under trained, there is less risk for injury. The body becomes more fluid and supple, protecting against injury.

6. Helps You Become Efficient With Your Body

Last, but not the least one of the benefits of Pilates is that it teaches you how to become efficient with your body. Very few exercises can help your body become more efficient in its movement.
Why is efficiency so important? Being efficient means that your body moves in a way, that is smoother, safer, and less prone to injury. By practicing pilates on a regular basis, you can train your body more to move in a much safer and more efficient manner.

Via: http://www.articlesbase.com/health-articles/top-six-benefits-of-pilates-exercises-74468.html

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