Pilates promotes the body’s overall integration with the mind. Pilates was founded by Joseph Pilates which he named as Contrology. His followers later on coined the term Pilates as the exercise program that he created.
Pilates is about mental and physical wellness. The mind must be in synch with the body and vice versa. It is very different from the traditional Western which is a physically exhausting concept of exercise. More often than not, the Western tradition is all about sets and repetitions, which can be mindless at some point. With Pilates, quality is the goal of the routine rather than quantity. To begin with here are four basic Pilates routines:
1. Chest lift. Lie down with your face up. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor. Your spine must be aligned in a way that there is a space in between the ground and the middle part of your spine. Put your hands on the back of your head. Slowly inhale and then gradually exhale to suck in your stomach while lifting your head and shoulders away from the floor. Inhale as you hold the position. Exhale as you slowly go back to the supine position. Perform 1 set of 3 to 6 repetitions.
2. Pelvic lift. Lie down with your face up. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Your spine must be aligned in a way that there is a space in between the ground and the middle part of your spine. Put your hands on your sides with palms facing the floor. Slowly inhale and then exhale as you lift your pelvis off the floor. Inhale as you hold the position with your arms extended on your sides. Slowly exhale as you go back to the supine position. Perform 1 set of 3 to 6 repetitions.
3. Leg lift. Lie down on your side. The arm on the floor should be extended with palms facing up. Rest your head on your inner upper arms. The free arm should have the upper arm on the side with elbows bent forming a 90-degree angle and the hand resting on the floor. Chest, stomach, thighs, legs, and feet must form a straight line. Toes must be pointing down. Slowly exhale to suck in your stomach. Lift both legs together off the floor. Slowly inhale as you lower both legs down. Perform 1 set of 3 to 6 repetitions. Perform the same on the other side.
4. Thigh lift. Lie down facing the floor. Place your hands on your forehead with palms facing down. Extend your legs and keep your feet together. Push your pelvis down on the floor to curve your spine. Exhale to suck in your stomach and raise one leg off the floor. Hold the position for six counts. Slowly inhale as you lower your leg. Perform the same on the other leg. Perform 1 set of 3 to 6 repetitions.
These basic Pilates routines will help you become more familiar with the fitness program. There are more routines available to try. Go and perform those other workouts to make progress in Pilates!
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