When it comes to a mind-body exercise that is low impact, works your muscles, and improves posture and flexibility you can’t beat Pilates. It’s one of the most popular forms of exercise these days. From celebrities to soccer moms, it seems like everyone is talking about Pilates. And if you’re interested in trying out this workout at home, here are some simple tips you can follow to make sure doing a great Pilates workout.
1. Get The Right Equipment
If you really plan on getting serious about your pilates workouts and want to do it at home, you should probably invest in a few pieces of equipment. If you’re just starting out, you can still get a great workout with just some basic equipment like an exercise ball or some resistance bands. However, if you really have a fitness goal you want to achieve through pilates, then the Lagree Megaformer machine might be more suited to your needs.
Whichever piece of equipment you’re getting, it’s important that it’s versatile, and that you can use it to target different groups of muscles. Ideally, your equipment will also allow you to use it for cardio and stretching exercises as well. Of course, always make sure to invest in quality equipment that’s going to last you a long time. With great Pilates equipment, you’re going to get the most out of your workouts every time without having to worry about it breaking or whether or not you’ll injure yourself.
2. Be Patient
If you have never done Pilates before, you might feel a bit sore the first few times. And it’s definitely going to take some time to get used to because there are so many different pieces of equipment that target various muscle groups in different ways, which means your body is constantly being challenged. However, keep in mind that just because it’s a low-impact workout doesn’t mean it’s going to be an easy one.
You really have to challenge yourself if you’re going to see results. So just keep at it, and you will definitely see improvements over time, especially since your body gets more flexible as well. Even if you already have a pretty admirable fitness level, you’re likely to find this to be a challenging exercise – especially if you’re doing the machine version, rather than the mat version. You should start out by just using it a few times to get used to it, and then try to increase the number of workouts every week as your body adapts.
3. Listen To Your Body
If you’re self-motivated and like exercising on your own, then this might be a good workout for you. However, it’s really important that you listen to your body and what it needs. If at any point during your Pilates workout you feel pain or discomfort, stop immediately and talk to a doctor if the pain doesn’t go away. Some Pilates exercises require you to stretch out your muscles, which can lead to injuries if you’re not careful.
Remember that you should always go only up until you start feeling the strain in your muscles. And never force yourself beyond the point of pain because you might end up injuring yourself and having to take a break from exercising for a while, which means you will miss out on all of those benefits. When doing these sorts of sets, it’s important that you’re focused and that you’re breathing steadily to help relax your muscles.
4. Create A Realistic Schedule
It can be difficult to get motivated and actually do a workout on your own, but the good news is that it’s not an all-or-nothing situation. Even if you just dedicate 20 minutes out of your day to doing Pilates exercises regularly, you will definitely see results in comparison to someone who does nothing at all. So really try to create a realistic schedule and stick to it. Don’t make a point of forcing yourself to exercise even if you don’t feel like it that day, because that’s only going to lead to burnout and you’ll end up falling off the bandwagon. Instead, just try to gradually build up the number of days you’re exercising per week overtime, as well as the time you’re spending on each workout.
5. Quality Over Quantity
When working out, a lot of people make the mistake of going for quantity instead of quality. However, doing lots of reps won’t provide you with too much gain. Pilates is all about going long and slow, holding your position, and really targeting those specific muscle groups, so you want to make sure that you’re not rushing through your workout. Instead, try to go for quality every single time you do the exercise, and if it means going a little bit slower or holding a position for longer than what feels comfortable, then do that instead. Instead of doing 30 reps, you can do 10 reps but take your time and really challenge yourself. You can try and hold each position for at least 20 seconds, to help increase your flexibility and make sure you really feel the burn in those muscles.
6. Focus On Your Breathing
Pilates isn’t just about the simple movements you’re doing with your body. Your breathing is actually equally important because that’s when you become aware of how hard your muscles are working when you feel that burning sensation when inhaling and exhaling properly. This means that in order to get the most out of Pilates – i.e. that mind-body connection – you need to pay attention to the movements of your body, but also how you’re breathing. Make sure you’re taking deep breaths in and out, at a steady pace, for each set you do. Inhaling for 5 counts, holding your breath for 2 counts, and exhaling for 6 counts is an ideal breathing pattern. Doing this will help relax your muscles so you can feel more comfortable when doing each exercise.
These tips will show you how to do a great Pilates workout from the comfort of your own home and create a schedule that works for you. If you’re new to Pilates then it might be a good idea to watch a few tutorials from well-known pilates instructors before you begin so you have a better idea of what to do. Pilates is great for toning muscles, gaining stability, and improving flexibility so it’s definitely worth checking out.