The A to Z of Pilates - Part Two14th July 2017
Well now it's time for Part Two, N-Z!
The N-Z of Pilates
N is for New Experiences
Many people haven't tried Pilates. It's a new experience, it's something different. Workouts can really get boring if you don't try new things and freshen them up once in a while, so a Pilates class is a nice change of pace from the treadmill.
O is for Osteoperosis
Osteoperosis is a more common problem than you think. In fact, 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will break a bone because of it. Around 3 million people in the UK have the condition. It can cause pain, fragility and in some cases disability. Pilates can help tackle some of these pains and fragilities. Pilates exercises can gently strengthen the body and make your joints more flexible meaning that moving about and completely day-to-day tasks becomes easier.
P is for Precision
Precision is a key focus of Pilates. The postures within a routine all require perfect and precise poise to be effective and this is something you'll learn early on in a class. Precision is important because it's about the relationship between the different muscle groups.
Q is for Qualifications
Already a lover of Pilates? Why not take another step and qualify as a teacher! There are all kinds of courses an certifications out there and if you already work in the world of health and fitness it could be an interesting route to take.
R is for Reformer
Yes, it does look daunting. No, it's not a medieval torture device. A reformer is equipped with weight-resistant springs and pulleys to create a more challenging workout. It's recommended that you master the Matwork first, but reformer is definitely how to crank things up a notch.
S is for Spine
Back pain and core strength are the two main reasons people learn Pilates. Pilates exercises reach those deep core muscles that a gym workout won't and improve your strength and stability. By toning and strengthening your core, you give more support to the base of your lumbar spine, preventing back pain and increasing flexibility.
T is for Tower
A Tower may look like a reformer with a piece missing, but it offers a very different experience. Tower classes are great for isolating an individual part of the body that you want to work on. Classes are much more fluid as there are no set routines and this allows instructors to both improvise and set more unique goals. Tower sessions are all but guaranteed to leave you feeling lighter and taller.
U is for Understanding
Pilates will definitely help you to get a greater awareness of your own body. It will help you understand how different body parts work together in movement and it will also make you more aware of your limitations.
V is for Vertebrae
Yes, we know we've already mentioned the spine, but when it comes to Pilates, we can't stress enough how much it's good for your back. With up to 34 vertebrae in your spine, poor posture can cause the discs between to erode or reform. This can cause discomfort and ultimately will have you needing to see a chiropractor. Don't let it go that far!
W is for Wunda Chair
The Wunda Chair is another piece of Pilates Studio Equipment that adds a level of difficulty and complexity to your workout. The apparatus is designed to help you strengthen your “centre” or your “powerhouse” as it sometimes known. With more than 75 different exercises to be done, the wunda chair is a versatile piece of equipment that allows you to develop your core, arms and knees.
X is for Xtending your muscles
We're having to get a bit creative here! But Pilates exercises increase your flexibility by lengthening and stretching your muscles and this allows greater ease of movement,
Y is for Yoga
Yoga and Pilates. Not. The. Same. Thing. We can't stress that one enough. HOWEVER, there are now crossover styles between the two, because in fairness, they do have similarities. So if you don't know which to try, have the best of both worlds with PiYo or Yogalates!
Zzzz... is for recovery!
Okay, so it doesn't start with a Z, but recovery is important. You don't need to do Pilates every day, if anything that'll make it less effective. Rest in between sessions is important. It can also be used if you train for other sports as a light recovery exercise, many professionals use it that way.
Find A Pilates Class Near You
That concludes our A-Z of Pilates, which means there's only one thing left for you to do... book a class! Here's how you can do it...
If you've got an iPhone or iPad, download the NearYou App. This will help you find your local Pilates teachers, see class reviews and get yourself booked into a session.
You can also find your nearest Pilates Instructor on the Pilates Near You homepage. Just enter your location to see local Pilates classes in your area.