Background Information About Pilates For Beginners

Getting into Pilates for the first time requires very little. It’s a mind/ body thing so it’s appropriate to start with the mind. That means acquiring some information about the whole Pilates program. It started with Joseph Pilates who was born in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1880.

As a child, he was sickly and as a teen, he was athletic. As a young man, he endured internment in England during World War I. For his life’s work, he developed an exercise system that would strengthen the healthy, rehabilitate the weak and develop a mental-physical bond.

The Program

The set of exercises developed by Joseph Pilates, and are named after him; concentrate on developing strength without building up a lot of bulky muscle. Instead, the body’s muscles are lengthened to improve flexibility, endurance and coordination. Even Pilates for beginners trains breathing to help oxygen circulate throughout the body.

The aim is to develop the body in a balanced way – not by building up one area to the detriment of another. Strength is developed in the torso and Pilates for beginners emphasizes the need to use the torso or “core” strength to improve posture and stability.

Besides stretching exercises, Pilates for beginners will teach using one’s own weight as resistance to strengthen the muscles and build endurance. At the start, most of the exercises are done on a mat without any equipment. Simple resistance equipment was developed by Joseph Pilates, beginning with springs. The same equipment is still used, improved by modern materials.

Different than other systems of exercise, Pilates for beginners will teach concentration. Rather than focus on counting a rhythm, Pilates exercisers concentrate on breathing and movement. Every move has precise requirements, from the angle of an outstretched leg to the position of each finger. While holding and moving according to the rules, a breathing regimen is prescribed for every exercise.

Because of the precision of the moves, Pilates for beginners should take place with an instructor or experienced practitioner. Tapes and DVDs can be helpful, but the beginner needs the correction of a human being in order to achieve the necessary precision.

There aren’t many other requirements. A thick exercise mat is a necessity along with comfortable clothes and exertion may demand drinking water. When embarking on Pilates for beginners, the most important lesson is that Pilates is not a means to an end. No one should start the program thinking of quitting after losing a few pounds or after regaining old stamina. Pilates is a lifestyle of health, flexibility and grace. Pilates for beginners is just the beginning.

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