Everyone can benefit from Pilates. You don’t have to be as flexible and graceful as a ballet dancer or spend P2000 per session to be able to experience Pilates. In fact, it is possible to apply Pilates even while standing or walking. Even the most popular and effective exercises such as the squat, abdominal crunch, leg lift, lunge, shoulder bridge, push-up, or plank are part of any Pilates program.
- Proper breathing should be incorporated in all the exercises (stable or moving) so focus and concentration are applied all throughout.
- Movements should be executed with precision and control from the start until the end so that the correct muscles are recruited sequentially. Do 5-10 reps of push-up, but with a slower pace, uniform range and correct form the whole time.
- During movement, core should be activated to keep the supporting parts of the body strong and stable. For example, during an oblique twist/bicycle, the core should be engaged to keep the torso stable while moving the extremities.
A Full-Body Workout
Modern Pilates programs are now incorporating resistance and cardio training to answer other fitness needs of clients such as exercise variety, fitness improvement in other aspects (strength and cardio) and inclusion of effective fitness equipment such as suspension trainers, hand weights, stability ball, medicine ball and resistance bands. I am a Pilates instructor who spends most of my time in a Pilates studio, but I have an extensive background in fitness, so I use Pilates to create fusion programs for my clients who are mostly concerned about body toning/shaping, core strengthening, weight control and injury prevention.
Pilates Method in your Daily Life
You can always apply Pilates in your daily activities such as sitting, standing, walking, jogging, dancing, formal workouts and sports by applying body awareness through breathing, core engagement, controlled movements and stable spine. You can maximize your daily activities while protecting yourself from injuries just by consistently moving with grace and proper form. You can avoid a shoulder and knee injury from an intense dance class by learning how to stabilize your shoulders while swinging your arms and by knowing how to land on your feet with control during jumps and twists. You can conserve your energy better and run longer by learning how to properly activate your core while sustaining a strong and neutral spine.
Formal Pilates Practice
If you want to experience the total Pilates training using various machines such as reformer and Cadillac, make time to visit a Pilates studio near you (B+B Studio, Vivian Zapanta Pilates, Options, One Life). The exercises are taught by certified instructors who underwent hours of comprehensive training and practice by reputable Pilates certifications such as Stott, Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) and others and they consistently renew their certifications by attending annual conventions and workshops locally and internationally.