What is Pilates
Without a doubt, we all need exercises for the wellbeing of our metal and physical health. However, finding the right exercise classes can be a bit daunting. But if you are looking for the best way to exercise your body, lose weight or simply maintain your fitness, then Pilates is the best option.
So, what exactly is Pilates? Pilates is basically a form of exercise that has a very low impact. Above all, this type of exercise aims at strengthening your muscles while at the same time improving your flexibility, posture and general alignment.
Additionally, Pilates exercises focus on the core of your body. But there are other Pilates moves that will focus on other parts of the body. Typically, depending on the Pilates type, you will either work with or without equipment (more on Pilates types down below).
So, is Pilates the right option for me? Well, it generally depends on what you are planning to achieve in the end. As I said earlier, Pilates takes your exercises to another level and ensures your body functions properly. With Pilates, you will be able to have a long and fit body. And at the same time, you’ll expect to drop the extra pound.
Yes, Pilates can actually ensure that you lose extra weight. However, there’s a lot that you need to understand when taking Pilates weight loss classes. Thankfully, this article will cover all these topics. So, you are in the right place. Shall we get started?
The origin of Pilates reminds us of Joseph Pilates (The founder). Joseph was born in German and later migrated to Britain then America. During this time, he advised that the Pilates exercise was good for the body.
The original Pilates method included the use of equipment known as; apparatus. All in all, the most known equipment that’s frequently used in this routine is the Pilates Reformer. Joseph was born in the year 1880 near Dusseldorf.
At a young age, he was always sickly and his body was fragile. That being the case, Joseph took it upon himself to focus on body-building. He was so dedicated that he became a model for anatomical drawing at his teens.
What’s more, Pilates was among the first influential figure to ever combine the Eastern and Western ideas when it comes to health and fitness. Joseph researched and practised every kind of physical exercise he could get his hands on. That ranged from Greek and Roman exercises to gymnastics and bodybuilding.
He also included yoga, martial arts, and tai chi among other Eastern disciplines to make the most out of his exercise sessions. On top of that, he also studied animal movements and anatomy. Motivated to make a difference in life, Joseph sampled every type of exercise and took a record of all the results.
Joseph then left German in 1912 for Britain. It was in England where he became a professional boxer. Afterwards, he started to teach self-defence classes to Scotland Detectives. It was then that he went to work in a circus as an acrobat.
The Beginning of Pilates Classes in World War I
During the occurrence of World War I, Joseph was interned as a German enemy alien by the British. In his time as an Intern, he started developing a new way to exercise and also control the body. This was actually the dawn of Pilates.
Additionally, Joseph got the chance to work as a nurse during this period. That gave him the opportunity to help patients recuperate. He used spring beds in the hospitals to help the patients tone their muscles even if they couldn’t move from their beds.
That is how Joseph invented the technology behind the Pilates reformers. In their early days, the Pilates reformers were shaped in the form of a sliding bed. These beds used springs for resistance. When Joseph went back to German, he worked closely with other pioneers of this technique such as Rudolph Laban.
The First Studio to Practice Pilates
Later in 1923, Joseph moved to the America where he opened his first studio with his wife Clara. The studio was located in New York. His new and improved exercise techniques was an instant hit. Pilates found its way to some of the greatest dancers at the time such as George Balanchine and Martha Graham.
Additionally, other dancers also decided to become devotees of this technique. That’s because Pilates proved to be an effective way to recover from injuries and even to prevent any reoccurrence of the same.
Joseph called this technique ‘Contrology’ but the exercise later took his surname. The exercise was pitched as mental and physical conditioning of working your body to its full potential. Basically, according to Joseph Pilates words; it is the mind that controls and builds up your body.
Pilates and Britain
It was not until 1970 when Pilates returned back to Britain. He was actually brought back by Alan Herdsman. That’s because Herdsman was requested to investigate and study the methods of Joseph which he later opened the first Pilates studio in London.
Now that you’ve had the chance to understand Pilates origins, let’s take a look at the different Pilates types that exist today.
If you want to get the most out of Pilates, then it is important for you to learn about Pilates types. Each of these types is suited for different parts of the body. Some may achieve your goal faster than others.
Therefore, learning about the different Pilates types will ensure you appreciate the cost of each of the classes involved. However, regardless of the types, each individual instructor will always try to bring out the best out of the routine.
This is by adding his or her personality into the training exercise. That being the case, it’s always a good idea to pay close attention to your instructor. All in all, here are the different Pilates types.
This type of Pilates has different names including Romana Pilates and New York Pilates among others. Here, the main aim is to preserve some of the original teachings of Pilates as they were taught by Joseph and Clara.
Therefore, classical Pilates can be described as traditional. What’s more, the equipment used in this type is specific to the exact measurements and requirements of Joseph. However, Classical Pilates may vary from school to school but it’s a lot less varied when compared to other Pilates types.
Also, when you compare the Classical Pilates to other types, it tends to have a more flexion biasness. Meaning, this Pilates type is great for anyone with a lordotic or spondylolisthesis lumbar spine. However, it might not be the best option for anyone with a disc protrusion.
Clinical Pilates is a type of exercise that tends to focus more on rehabilitation. It can either include a studio session or mat work depending on the type of rehabilitation the client requires.
Here, the instructor will expose you to exercises that have a strong focus on muscle stabiliser or low back pain. The training also includes ultrasound so the instructor is able to assess your pelvic or abdominal muscle activation. This type of programme is trained in studios where each client has their own specific sessions designed for them.
Contemporary Studio Pilates
This type of Pilates is basically taught in studios that are fully equipped and under the instructions of an expert. Most people regard this type of Pilates as the most comprehensive style. That is because the exercise caters to almost everything all the way from general fitness to rehab and sports training.
The Contemporary studio Pilates tend to combine the classical exercises that were invented by Joseph Pilates with a couple of more contemporary variations and equipment. Also, they involve the use of the theory of sports science as well as physiotherapy.
The contemporary studio Pilates are run as either private or semi-private and will mostly have a maximum of 4 people. Hence, this makes the Studio Pilates fully focused on the individual which makes it a very powerful form of Pilates exercise.
The instructor will at times invent and modify exercises on the spot and along with that, utilize a wide range of equipment. This includes; barrels, Trapeze table and Wunda chairs. Although this may cost you more, the level of service and training you get is worth your every penny.
Group Reformer Pilates
Just like the name suggests, the group reformer Pilates is designed to offer you a full body workout on the reformer. The class is majorly aimed at flow hence people are guided through a wide range of exercises on the reformer. That may include the use of some resistance strings that tend to either decrease or increase the level of difficulty.
The group reformer classes are large and may contain from eight up to around thirty people. While they are fun, very energetic and will have you breaking a sweat, there is less chance for the instructor to offer individual attention.
The mat Pilates is done on the floor and this was how Joseph Pilates began teaching his routines. Mat Pilates will either involve little no equipment. This type of Pilates is heavily focused on increasing the strength of the core. This is a class that will entice you with its low price point. However, the fact that it is taught in very large groups, there is a very low chance of getting individual attention from the instructor.
Pilates Weight Loss
Most people regard Pilates as a very low impact exercise. However, it has still proven to be effective in terms of improving posture, building the lean muscles and toning up the body. That being the case, practising Pilates will not only help you maintain a healthy body but also go a long way in helping you maintain a healthy weight.
All in all, you need to understand that Pilates is not exactly effective as most of these other cardio exercises. That is because you will definitely burn fewer calories when exercising on a traditional Pilates mat than maybe swimming or running. But if Pilates is more than just an exercise and you enjoy doing them, consistency will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
On the other hand, if your main target is losing weight, you can probably combine the Pilates exercise with other forms of cardio exercises and a healthy diet too. But what you need to understand is that Pilates will only help you lose weight. This means that, even if you indulge in Pilates exercise but still fail to curb eating junky foods, there won’t be any effect on the scale.
How Many Calories will you Burn with Pilates?
Well, when it comes to the Pilates weight loss exercise, the number of calories you are likely to burn in the end will be majorly influenced by a couple of things. That includes; your current weight, the type of Pilates exercise you choose as well as the difficulty level of the class.
For instance; for someone who is precisely 150 pounds, they are likely to burn at least 175 calories in a beginner’s 50-minute Pilates mat class. While in a more advanced 50-minute mat class they will burn 254 calories.
This simply means that, for you to burn more calories in a Pilates Weigh loss exercise, you need to focus on exercises that elevate your heart rate. For instance; the Pilates Reformer Class.
How Often Should You Practise Pilates for Weight Loss?
For you to see any changes in your weight as a beginner, you need to practise Pilates at least two to three times a week. As time goes by, you can indulge in more complex Pilates classes such as the Pilates Reformer class. Or even Piloxing and Yogalates which is a combination of Pilates and boxing plus Yoga and Pilates respectively.
The good thing with such exercises is that you get to involve your entire body. That means you are likely to get better results than when only practising the traditional Pilates mat class. You should dedicate at least four days in a week to engage in these combinations of Pilates exercises for better results.
In other cases, you can also try alternating the Pilates classes with cardio exercise and strength training. This will help you to tone your muscles while at the same time helping you to achieve your goals for weight loss.
As discussed in the article, Pilates is a great low impact exercise that can be beneficial in more ways than one. From improving your overall posture, to toning muscles and toning the core. Besides that, Pilates is also good for the mind and spirit. Pilates helps you to build a positive attitude that will help you approach the Pilates Weight loss program with more positivity.