Ever wondered what those bed-like machine are in Pilates classes? Or what is it with this workout that makes it a hit to celebrities? Kate Hudson swears by it, Miranda Kerr loves it, and even Lovi Poe is a regular!
We are, especially in these times we're forced to stay healthy and fit without a gym, just as curious, too.
Pilates can be a little intimidating at first, especially if you're a first-timer. So, here's fitness trainer and ONELIFE Studio founder Tanya Maria Aguila giving us the 101 on the hit workout as we all rediscover it!
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What is Pilates?
Pilates is a low-impact workout that engages your muscles and focuses on developing a strong core. It focuses on movement rather than intensity and quantity. "Pilates is about precision. (It focuses on) those small movement refinements and the use of the deep stabilising muscles of the entire body," Tanya says. "Internally what’s happening is that all your systems are firing, connecting, and balancing for strength. It leaves you feeling more refreshed than ever after each and every session."
What are the benefits of Pilates?
Aside from toning your body, it can improve your posture, flexibility, balance, strength, stability, and even reduce back pain.
Who can do this workout?
Pilates is for everyone—even pregnant women! The slow and low impact moves make it highly adaptable for every body type. "Efforts are controlled and workouts and sessions are done in such a way that makes sure there is minimal risk of injury, while at the same time maximizing the effectivity and efficiency of the movements," Tanya says.
Plus, for those with a busy lifestyle preferring quick workouts, Pilates gives the benefits in less than an hour of workout. "The fact that you can get all these goals down in a 55-minute session is what most love about Pilates," Tanya shares.
Is Pilates a good weight-loss exercise?
Tanya says that you don't burn a lot of calories during the exercise, however, if you stick to it and commit to a regular program, it can promote to weight loss. She also says that "Pilates does build muscles—including those deep inner muscles that aren't usually given attention. So, the more muscles you have, the more calories you burn throughout the day. So even after you step out of a Pilates session, you are burning calories especially when you start gaining more muscle tone."
Which type of Pilates is good for you?
Before trying out the workout, it is important to get a coach's assistance to identify the movement and posture habits the body needs.
Then, choose any of the two types: Mat or reformer. A mat class is a series of floor exercises that teaches the foundations of Pilates. It's also good for a toning class without injuring the joints. The Reformer, on the other hand, is a resistance platform that has a stationary foot bar, springs, and pulleys. "The beauty about Pilates, especially studio-setting Pilates, is that the specialty equipment is specifically designed to help you reach your goals. Our favorite equipment include the Reformer and the Trapeze (pictured above), and there are many others, including small props," Tanya says.
What should you take note of before doing this exercise?
"As with any physical exertion, if you are new to exercising or if you have special medical conditions, its' always best to consult with a medical professional first prior to starting anything new," Tanya warns.
She also suggests that for beginners, "it is important to work on fundamental exercises that encourage better control of the body’s powerhouse by learning how to work the trunk, pelvis, and shoulder girdle as one integrated unit."
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Banner image from Unsplash. Photos from Onelife Studio.