Pilates Expert Vesna Jacob has listed down two main pilates exercises for body transformation along with some easy-to-perform variations.
Physical fitness is the first requisite for happiness- Joseph Pilates
Pilates has been invented by Joseph Pilates who was a German around World War I. He got the idea of starting pilates in his childhood as he used to be very sick as a child. It clicked to him that there should be some way to use the body regardless of where you are coming from; regardless of the medical issues you may have; regardless of your physical and mental capabilities. If you give the body proper training then the body would respond by realigning and benefiting you. You’ll feel better, fitter and more capable. He started studying Tai-chi, yoga, Roman-Greek wrestling. He put all of that together into a system which he called body Contrology. He believed that if you master full control over your body, your body will appreciate it by being fit and healthy.
The main system of pilates only has 34-36 exercises. However, each and every one of those exercises can be modified between 5 to 10 different variations. These variations can be fitted to people with different issues including the ones who are less capable of those who are super capable of doing Pilates. This is why pilates movements are used for rehabilitation, spinal surgery recovery, increasing the balance & performance of people.
2 Main Movements of Pilates
The two main movements of pilates are:
It is given the name as it is to be performed 100 times. This is the movement very close to cardio that you get in pilates. In pilates, you do jumping, running and other modifications. Though, in its pure form, pilates is done mainly on the floor. There are many other pilates equipment used in the training that are invented by Joseph Pilates. It is performed in the beginning of the workout as this increases the core temperature to warm up the body.
Here are some variations of this exercise that people can do at home:
- Align on the back and engage your core. Your back should neither be too arched not too pressed into the ground. People with back issues should use a mat to avoid unnecessary strain on the body.
- Keep the feet on the ground and keep the head on a yoga block to give support to the neck.
- Lift the arms and do a very small movement with the arms. Inhale on the count of 4 and exhale on the count of 6. Do 10 repetitions of this. The entire body should be kept tight during the exercise.
Lift both legs up so that your legs are in the tabletop position which means at 90 degrees level so that your shins are parallel to the floor.
- Lift both the legs to the ceiling keeping heels together and toes apart.
- Now, lower the leg down.
- This is the full position.
One Leg Up Advanced
This is similar to the full position but in this, one leg it facing the ceiling while the other leg is put on the ground. This is one leg up to advanced position.
This is an amazing form of core conditioning and it also works on the back muscles. This means that people with back issues should condition their back slowly and use a cushion under the back when doing this exercise.
Preparation for Teaser 1
In the beginner’s position, knees are bent, arms are up to the ceiling, back straight and then you just gently curl into the ground and then as you exhale, you go back into the expanded back and arms towards the ceiling.
So, you breathe in, you curl your back to the ground and as you exhale, you lift them reach up to the ceiling.
- Lie down on the ground with legs up to the ceiling.
- As you exhale, you lift your arms such that arms and legs are parallel.
- This resembles the boat position from yoga.
These two exercises hundred and teaser sum up what pilates is all about. These have many variations that if you perform regularly, would tone and transform your body.
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