Pilates exercises are a type of physical activity that was created by Joseph Pilates almost 100 years ago.
Pilates includes a series of exercises that involve the body and the mind and that focus on the stability of the core and that affects the strength, flexibility, and attention of muscle control, posture and breathing.
The usual practice of Pilates exercises can determine various health benefits. Among them, they emphasize effectiveness when it comes to relieving back pain and reducing the percentage of body fat, with an increase in lean mass in the short term.
Basic Pilates exercises
Many Pilates exercises can be put into practice depending on the objective and characteristics of the participant.
We propose some exercises that do not require prior knowledge, preparation or equipment:
The breath is one of the key elements of Pilates exercises, so all of them must be adequately accomplish.
As an initial breathing exercise, we propose to sit on the floor with your legs crossed and your hands on your knees. Inspire the air through the nose and exhale through the mouth without opening it excessively. Concentrate on the breath noticing how the lungs are filled and emptied of air and how the thorax expands. Repeat for a few minutes.
Sit down “on all fours” with your hands on the floor aligned with your shoulders and knees in line with your hips. Next, arch your back by contracting your abs. Breathing: inspire at rest and exhale when going up the back.
Situate yourself lying on your back with your knees bent, and your feet on the floor and your arms also extended on the floor. Begin to progressively elevate the hips keeping the shoulders on the ground, to form a straight line downward with the knees, hips, and shoulders. Do the reverse operation until you return to the starting position. Repeat 5-10 times.
4. Roll up
Starting from the lying position, flex the trunk until you are seated and hold your feet with your hands. Breathing: inspire while proceeding to bend the back and exhale when returning to the initial position.
5. The circular movement of legs
Couch on the floor with your legs extended and raise one leg. Perform a rotation with the leg raised. Repeat with both legs several times. Breathing: inspire the beginning of the circle and exhale when the circumference ends and the leg returns to the starting position.
Recline on your stomach with your arms and legs extended. Contract the lumbar muscles and the buttocks so that the thorax and legs are elevated, with a single support region on the floor between the abdominal area and the hips. Alternatively, raise the right arm together with the left leg and vice versa. Breathing: inspire while 3 movements of arms and legs are carried out and exhale afterward.
Raise the legs above the head, forming a triangle on the floor between the elbows and the back. Set your hands on the back of your back. Move your legs alternately from front to back.
8. Viking ship
Lying on your stomach, bend your knees backward and hold your feet with your hands on the instep side. Next, arch the spine, extending the chest with the shoulders up and raising the head with the look to the front. In that position, stretch your arms and legs to the maximum a few times and return to the resting position.
9. Elbow pushups
From the standing position, bend the trunk forward and walk with your hands until you lie down leaning on the tips of your feet and the palms of your hands, located at shoulder height with your arms stretched out. Next, bend the elbows until the trunk almost touches the ground. Return to the position with arms extended. Repeat several times.
10. Lateral leg raises
Lean on your side on the floor with your head resting on your arm folded like a pillow. Support the other hand in front, at chest height. Raise the legs together keeping the heels and knees together. Repeat 5-10 times on each side.
Practicing these pilates exercises at home and maintaining a balanced diet you will notice a more stylized body and better health.