The mind and body approach to physical fitness known as Pilates has taken the world by storm in recent years. Where strict cardiovascular or muscle-based fitness regimes have left some feeling unsatisfied, the ethos of the Pilates community has helped millions achieve more than mere physical health. Based on a discipline of breathing, centering, concentration, precision and control, the practice blends philosophy and exercise science to promote economic, balanced, and graceful movement.
Tens of millions of individuals practice Pilates regularly in the United States, with instructors numbering around 15,000. And while any fitness regime that has evolved over the course of 90 years is bound to generate varied incarnations and interpretations, current practice is surprisingly representative of the initial 34 exercises devised by the developer.
All that is required for an initiation to Pilates is a padded mat, generally thicker than those used for Yoga. An efficient battery of Pilates exercises will strengthen core muscles of your abs, back and legs, assisting in better posture, flexibility, and alignment.
The Pilates Reformer is a precisely engineered tool for enhancing your Pilates practice by adding resistance and guiding your form. A chair provides some of the same benefits, but is limited in the number of exercises possible compared to a Reformer.
In short, you don't need much but commitment and a place to stretch out, but your Pilates routine will greatly benefit from an affordable selection of small tools to add resistance and aid your form. The following outlines some of the basic Pilates equipment that can be added to your home gym without breaking the bank.
Starting out a Pilates workout might be intimidating; unfamiliar equipment, new poses, and all those svelte figures showing off the benefits of a couple years of practice. This primer will spell out how to get going with a mix of instructed classes and a home practice using the basic tools of Pilates.
This brief article will introduce you to a sampling of Pilates exercises that can be performed with or without a Pilates Chair or Reformer. After getting initiated with these few exercises you will be ready for a more involved, disciplined approach. We find maintaining a Pilates regimen is much easier when you start small and eventually aim to use the specially engineered devices.