The concept of Joseph Pilates method of exercise was conceived almost a century ago. During the last couple of decades, his teaching method has been snapped up by the fitness industry worldwide and dress-up in a new jacket. The basic principles, as discussed before, remains the same. It is referred to as classic Pilates in the industry, meaning the trainer stays true to the original exercises and sequences as practised by Joseph and his early faithful followers. He also wrote two books on his regime, which documents his teaching method. Then there is also Contemporary Pilates. This is where Pilates has evolved, and new small apparatus has been added to the studios to aid with the exercises and keep it fresh and full of fun.
In the last 100 years, much research has been done on the incredible human machine and how exercise and food influence the body. Like in most areas of life, there has been an explosion of knowledge regarding fitness and fitness supplements. You walk into a drug store or food store, and the size of the fitness, health and well-being section is enormous.
We take a look at some of our help-mates:
A mat on the floor allows you to do a fantastic series of exercises without Pilates machines. Mat exercises are a challenging workout in its own right due to the flow of movement, attention and focus, plus the engagement of the core muscles. The mat workouts are flourishing in fitness studios because the Pilates machines take up a lot of space and initially are an expensive layout. Mat work is popular for small or bigger groups of people. Don’t think just because you are not working out on a Reformer or taking your body for a spin on the Cadillac that your transformation won’t be wow. A regular correct and focused mat workout will get any “body” ready for a date with Matt Damon!
Let’s have a Ball
We are now referring to that big Ball that is stacked in the corner of the studio. They come in various colours and sizes. Some call them fitness balls, exercise balls, medicine balls or even swiss balls. No such ball graced itself in the corner of Joseph’s New York studio because it is not a classic Pilates piece. But it is such a super apparatus that the Pilates industry grabbed it with hands and feet. As balance is one of Pilates 6 principles, it is a star amongst the apparatus. The rolling nature of a ball makes it difficult to balance your body when you sit or lie on it. Whenever you challenge body balance, you have a great opportunity to test core strength using the powerhouse and stabiliser muscles. You will find that even having just the hips or legs on the ball while the rest of the body is stable on the mat increases the level of difficulty.
Ring-a-Ring-a-Rosie pockets full of magic!
Pilates Fitness Ring has become very popular throughout the fitness world. The Pilates Fitness Ring, also known as a Magic Circle, is usually made of flexible metal or rubber. About thirteen inches in diameter with small pads on either side. This is a classic Pilates piece designed by Mr Pilates. The fitness ring provides gentle to moderate resistance in an exercise. It is not intended to provide a big resistance challenge. One does not pick up a fitness ring and try to crush it inwards as far as one can. It is an aid apparatus to activate the muscles you are working on.
Is the Band Playing?
Colourful Therabands are latex resistance bands or tubes used for physical therapy and light strength training exercises. They are also commonly used by athletes and dancers to strengthen and stretch their feet. Therabands can be used to increase motor function and strength in a long-term exercise plan. Theraband exercises’ requires excellent posture, warming up and stretching, similar to most strength training programs. If you want to play in the band, learn how to use a Theraband.
Are there Foam Rollers in your Hair?
Foam rollers come in different sizes. It is an effective way to loosen up muscles such as the IT band and shin muscles. It also releases tight knots and bands within the muscles. The Roller can give you an early alert that muscles are beginning to tighten up without you picking it up through your exercises. It is a fantastic apparatus to use before stretching. It also has a massage effect on your muscles when you roll your body out on it.
Bosu Baffles Brains
This half-circle ball makes seemingly easy squats just a little more difficult. Like a coin, it has a flip side. One side is flat and stable; the other side is rounded and soft. Adding that element of instability makes a workout so much harder. You can jump, sit, lie or do pretty much anything on it. There are endless variations of moves that can be performed on the Bosu to spark up and intensify your workout. No dust will ever gather on our Bosu or your brain, for that matter.
There are barrels full of fun items that are being used in the studios. I have just mentioned a few extra pieces of equipment. The moral of the story is that no matter how many times you visit the studio per week or for how many years you are already working out, we will always find a new and exciting excursion to take your incredible human machine for a spin.
A Pilates Quote: “A body freed from nervous tension and over-fatigue is the ideal shelter provided by nature for housing a well-balanced mind that is always fully capable of successfully meeting all of the complex problems of modern living.“
Pilates4.Me offers Contemporary and Classical Pilates!
Keep calm and Pilates on!