Pilates is one of the training methods which I use and like.
Pilates is a training method created by Joseph Pilates. The essence of the exercises is the gradual increase in their degree of difficulty. As such, the effort resistance of each person is respected effort without imposing an alert rhythm.
You will gain good muscle tone, reshape your buttocks and you will discover that you can have a flat stomach or correct certain problems of the spine.
You just need a gym mattress and … perseverance. To convince you of the effectiveness of the Pilates method, I will share with you a Pilates weight loss plan that consists of five exercises and give you some examples of specific moves that will help you get the dreamed silhouette.
Pilates is the best option if you want a complete remodeling of the silhouette, by thinning the waist, defining the arms, ankles, toning and defining the muscles without massive increase in muscle mass, elongation of the column, obtaining a correct body position.
The current principles are easily comprehensible. Pilates combines a series of exercises that are connected in a specific way with the circulatory system, with the flexibility and strength of areas characteristic of the human body.
The routine of exercises leads the body to a state of harmony, so the body’s parts work as a whole. Unlike the rest of the exercises, the Pilates method does not focus on quantity, but it must make you aware that your entire body is working together, as a whole.
Breathing is a vital function of any organism. One of the key points of these exercises focuses on the way you breathe. Each movement is connected with a specific breathing method. A correct breath allows oxygen – through the circulatory system – to irrigate the muscles that are being used and to release a quantity of harmful chemicals stored in the muscle.
Released chemicals are connected with pain and fatigue, being substances that our organisms try to escape. Because of this, it is necessary to inhale as much oxygen as deeply as possible and to exhale deeply, emptying our lungs
For Pilates exercises you must learn to breathe in a specific way. When you inhale, you dilate the top of the chest. You can think that this is a deep inspiration, but in fact it is a false inspiration. Instead of inhaling by dilating our chest and exhaling by blowing your belly, you must concentrate to fill the air with the bottom of the lungs.
This form of deep breathing allows us to stretch and move without restricting the amount of oxygen we inhale. The amount of oxygen allows nutrients to travel to the muscles being worked. While you exhale vigorously, all gases and substances harmful to the body have an escape route. When these harmful elements are eliminated, the head becomes much clearer, the energy increases, the lactic acid (the acid that usually accumulates in the muscles and that produces muscle cramps) is released from the muscles and we become more relaxed.
One of the things you need to learn as quickly as possible is how to perform exercises without creating tension in body areas that are not worked. The parts that are not worked are engaged in the action of the movements but are not kept in tension.
The Pilates method involves the whole body during the execution of each movement. After completing the exercise routine, you will notice that you have eliminated stress both at the mental and physical levels.
The power of concentration
In many contexts, when you move, you do it without realizing it. The brain receives information about what you have to do, and without much attention, the body executes the brain-driven movement.
As you practice, the ability to focus on the part you are working on increases. The movement you make is characteristic of a certain part of the body; it is essential to focus your attention on it to make sure that the area is working properly. When you are aware of our movements, the body and the mind are working together and harmoniously.
The quality of being graceful while performing the movements is based on the fluidity of the exercises that flow from one another. Executing graceful exercises implies, in fact, great precision.
Every move in part has a precise point from where it begins and a place where it ends. Whatever you execute, it depends on you, how you combine these exercises to flow naturally without feeling the opening and closing points.
Even if you are trained to stop at a certain point in each move to perform it several times, stopping is not a pause, but a place where stretching or movement continues – although a viewer could not see it from outside.
Each exercise is a starting point for the next move. In reality, the movement does not cease for a moment, the end of a movement actually representing the beginning of another.
Inside – Outside
Conceptually, the Pilates method is based on prerequisites that seem at first diametrically opposed. While performing Pilates movements, you work both for the inside and for the outside of your body. For example, you work on small muscle groups for the whole body muscles to undergo extensive movements.
During the exercises you work to free your mind and use your brain to coordinate your body’s movements. At the end of the exercises there will be a close connection between two aspects of your person: you will feel full of psychic energy and strong from the point of view of the physical.
When exercises are performed correctly, the interior becomes the root of each movement. Thanks to this method you will feel profound changes from how you stand, go, move to the way you perceive those around you.
By working both on the physical and the psyche, you will get a mental clarity, trust and energy will increase, creating a sense of balance and a state of inner peace.
Freedom and control
To maintain your spine in a proper position, you need to strengthen your abdominal muscles. If you work your abdominal muscles, your shoulders descend, your neck rises, and the spine is becoming more straight. If you learn how to control your abdominal region, you will experience a new physical and mental state.
If you can focus on each movement, you will discover an excellent state of mind. In order to get here, you have to look at the mind every movement you make.
The power of concentration will give you the necessary control for each exercise. Movements should not be fast or sporadic. The focus falls primarily on control, the Pilates method being, in fact, a series of exercises controlled and executed for each part of the body.
Slow and fluid movements require great precision, which in turn requires a physical body control. Movements alternate between good breathing, adequate stretching and strengthening of the body.
The exercise routine is more active than it seems, and can be performed without the risk of boredom. While doing the exercises, you can be pleasantly surprised by the relaxing images that cross your mind, as if the pictures were the pieces of puzzle that found the right place. This does not happen thanks to a divine source of inspiration, but it happens because of the state of mind concentration on each part of the body.
Results From The First Month
Pilates is based on principles of safety, health and control. The major difference from other types of training consists of slow, controlled movements, allowing very accurate execution and isolation each muscle, for the best results.
The results are visible after three to four weeks, in terms of regular workouts, three to four times a week. Of course, it depends a lot on the physical resistance you start and on the diet you are following. But under normal conditions, in one month you can see the results.
The number of lost centimeters depends on each person. Some are losing 1kg in one week, for some which do not follow a diet the results are slow. Each organism is different.
As you know, if you combine the exercises with a healthy diet, the better the results.
There are modified exercises for persons with extra weight.
Benefits Of Doing Pilates
1. A more flexible, more treacherous spine. Pilates exercises support the spine, creating space between the vertebrae and turning them into a mobile, flexible pearl “band”. This improves mobility, grace and prevents other problems of the spine.
2. The balance begins to deteriorate around the age of 40 while the muscles weaken and the receptor nerves lose sensitivity. Pilates stops this process by stabilizing the inner part, work in depth the muscles that keep your body moving and keep your spine strong.
3. Less pain and stiffness. The right exercises are vital when you have arthritis, because they increase flexibility and reduce pain and fatigue. In addition to flexibility and pain reduction, Pilates improves the posture of the whole body.
4. A good physical condition: if you feel you are not in shape, Pilates offers you a wonderful way to return to an enviable physical condition.
Exercise 1 for abdomen, thighs and buttocks
Starting position: lying on the back, hands under the neck, the upper torso slightly elevated, strained the abdomen.
Keep the right foot slightly lifted, and the left raises it to 90 degrees and do four circular movements in one direction and then in the other.
Return to the starting position and change the leg to repeat the same movement.
Exercise 2 for abdomen, arms and buttocks
Starting position: Standing in the sitting position, support the palms facing the buttocks, extended legs. Raise the body so that it forms a straight line, while you support yourself in your hands and feet. Raises the left foot until it is perpendicular to the body and lowers it while maintaining the right position of the body. Perform 4 moves for each leg.
Exercise 3 for arms, abdomen, buttocks and back
Start position: Support your hands and knees, abs contracted and bend slightly the back while lifting both knees off the ground. Bring the right knee to the nose, then stretch it tightening the abdomen and muscles of the buttocks. Execute this movement 8 times for each leg.
Exercise 4 for shoulders, arms, lumbar region, abdomen, chest
Starting position: lying on the belly, hands on the side. Suddenly raises his feet and hands from the ground, holding this position for a few seconds. Rotate the shoulders to back and keep both legs and hands in this position for a few seconds.
Exercise 5 for waist and arms
The starting position: lying on the right side, resting on the right arm that is bent and perpendicular to the body, the legs stretched out. Slowly lift the body until it forms a straight line. Raise your left hand to the sky, and then bring it to your right breast without moving your legs. Movement should only be done with the trunk. Exercises 4 times the movement, then changes the position.
Pilates And Diet
Since Pilates requires most abdominal muscles, it is recommended that before starting the exercise program, do not consume large amounts of food so that the stomach is relatively empty.
Also, diet should provide the body with enough energy to cope with physical demands.
It is recommended to include in the menu a complex of carbohydrates, weak proteins (chicken or fish), “good” fat (olive oil).
It must be remembered that although Pilates increases flexibility, strengthens the heart and the muscles, it is not as effective in burning calories as other activities requiring a more intense body demand. (e.g., jogging).
Some dietitians recommend a daily 1200 calorie diet as part of Pilates body remodeling program. Others recommend a maximum of 1500 calories a day.
Now you know the principles and benefits of Pilates, the diet and the exercises to help you lose weight.
Do practice regularly and you will be amazed by the results.
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