Pink Italy: Expat Ladies Living in Italy
Welcome to Pink Italy!
Pink Italy: Expat Ladies Living in Italy

A forum for expat women living in Italy, to swap ideas, make friends and seek advice!


You are not connected. Please login or register

Pilates: A Mind-Body Exercise

View previous topic View next topic Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

1 Pilates: A Mind-Body Exercise on 3rd April 2010, 12:08 pm

Pilates: A Mind-Body Exercise
Find out what Pilates fitness is all about and if it might be right for you.

Medically reviewed by Cynthia Haines, MD Print Email Pilates is a fitness workout that builds flexibility, strength, and endurance without adding muscle mass by focusing primarily on the abdominal, hip, and back muscles, called the body's "core" muscles. It was created more than 90 years ago by Joseph H. Pilates, a German athlete who devised his own exercise technique after studying yoga, Zen, and the physical training used by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Pilates was also a proponent of the mind-body connection and his exercises include focused breathing and mental concentration.

From the very beginning Pilates based many of his exercises on a piece of exercise equipment called "The Reformer," a wooden bench that uses pulleys, springs, and sliding boards to create resistance. Today there are a variety of special machines that may be used in Pilates, including home versions of the Reformer and others, but many Pilates exercises can be done on a floor mat. And you need only minimal Pilates equipment, like a Pilates ring that you hold for certain exercises. With so many Pilates DVDs available, too, the choice is yours — you can take a class at a gym or fitness center or practice it at home with machines, on a mat, or both.

The Benefits of Pilates

The fitness benefits of Pilates include long, firm, flat muscles, a flat tummy, a strong back, and good posture. Additional benefits include:

Improved heart and lung health. Pilates breathing exercises can increase your lung capacity and, although you don't have to break a sweat, you can increase the aerobic part of your exercises to get your heart working harder and improve the flow of oxygen in your blood.Increased balance and flexibility. In addition to toning and strengthening muscles, Pilates also stretches muscles and improves your range of motion for greater flexibility, balance, coordination, and agility.Mental benefits. Because Pilates stresses concentration and focused breathing, it also heightens the mind-body connection, which can help relieve stress and anxiety.Safety. Pilates is a low-impact type of exercise that can be adapted to your own physical condition. Even if you are not in great shape now, you can get started in Pilates. However, discuss your fitness level with your Pilates instructor and avoid any advanced moves until you’re able to accomplish them safely. What to Expect in Pilates Class


A Pilates session usually runs for 60 minutes and may be given as a group class or as individual instruction. Though fitness clubs and gyms offer classes, consider a specialized Pilates studio, especially if you want one-on-one instruction.

Pilates fitness classes may involve workouts done on exercise machines or on floor mats and a series of very precise low-impact, range-of-motion exercises. You should wear comfortable clothing, similar to what you would wear for aerobics or yoga. Pilates is usually done without shoes.

Be sure to check the credentials of a Pilates teacher before signing up, and ask about the instructor's training and experience. Pilates should be taught by certified instructors who have gone through hundreds of hours of training and passed a written and practical test. The Pilates Method Alliance is an organization that can help you find a certified Pilates instructor and classes near you.

If you have any significant health conditions you should check with your doctor before starting any exercise program, including Pilates. Also, let your Pilates instructor know about any physical limitations you may have. Certified Pilates instructors can often customize a Pilates fitness program to meet your special needs.

Finding Pilates Equipment

There are a variety of manufacturers of equipment and instructional videos in the Pilates industry. Most have Web sites that allow you to investigate their offerings. Among the most established companies are:

Balanced Body. Based in Sacramento, Calif., Balanced Body began designing contemporary versions of the Reformer in the 1970s. Today, it offers a line of equipment, accessories, and videos, and the Balanced Body University to train instructors.Stott Pilates. Stott Pilates, based in Canada, offers a line of home and commercial equipment, from mats and exercise balls to Reformers, as well as DVDs. The company has a Toronto Pilates studio and offers training for instructors at various locations.Winsor Pilates. Created by Los Angeles-based Pilates instructor Mari Winsor, this system of Pilates, available on DVD, involves a core group of exercises that are designed to create and tone long muscles. Although Pilates has become extremely popular in recent years, it’s far from being just another fitness trend. With a long history dating back to its namesake creator, Pilates is an effective fitness option that develops strength — a fitness indicator women often overlook — along with many other benefits.

View user profile http://pinkitaly.forumotion.com

2 Re: Pilates: A Mind-Body Exercise on 10th April 2010, 12:17 am

Pilates is awesome.
my favourite pilates dvds (although you definitely get better and faster results with a real teacher in a class), are:

Crunch -
instructor: Ellen Barrett
DVD 1: Burn and Firm Pilates (awesome 50 minute cardio-pilates workout with light weights)
DVD 2: Pick your spot Pilates (mat-work - for those days when you need a shorter workout)

I love Ellen Barrett because she is down to earth and explains breathing better than other instructors I have seen on workout dvds in the past

Also good: 10 minute solution Rapid Results Pilates.

I have the DVDs and the DVD player that plays DVDs from the US... now i just need to put exercise on my schedule. I should get off the pink and make a schedule cyclops

View user profile

3 Re: Pilates: A Mind-Body Exercise on 10th April 2010, 9:00 am

[quote="rkabruzzo"]Pilates is awesome.
my favourite pilates dvds (although you definitely get better and faster results with a real teacher in a class), are:

Crunch -
instructor: Ellen Barrett
DVD 1: Burn and Firm Pilates (awesome 50 minute cardio-pilates workout with light weights)
DVD 2: Pick your spot Pilates (mat-work - for those days when you need a shorter workout)

I am interested in investing in some work-out dvds at home for those days when I can't get to the gym coz the kids are sick. I have a question though: I hate it when you have to wait for them to go through all the instructions for every exercise everytime, it wastes a lot of time. Are Barrett's dvds organised well so that u can 'get on with it' once u know what u r doing????? Very Happy

Can anyone else recommend good work out dvds? I'd like one that does body conditioning type exercises that I can do when the kids are milling around underfoot, and a cardio one (with wieghts and step is ok) for when I need to burn those calories!!!!!!

View user profile

4 Re: Pilates: A Mind-Body Exercise on 10th April 2010, 10:29 am

I have heard that the Windsor pilates dvd is good i havent tried it yet but i plan to this week!

I will give Ellen Barrett a try while im at it as well lol!

View user profile http://pinkitaly.forumotion.com

5 Re: Pilates: A Mind-Body Exercise on 11th April 2010, 12:40 am

ClareRoma wrote:I have heard that the Windsor pilates dvd is good i havent tried it yet but i plan to this week!

I will give Ellen Barrett a try while im at it as well lol!

i think you can try the windsor ones on youtube. they seem really thorough, but i didn't try them because Ellen just appealed to me, and she offered some short workouts, which is usually all i have time for Neutral

View user profile

6 Re: Pilates: A Mind-Body Exercise on 18th April 2010, 3:48 am

Lizzie wrote:Can anyone else recommend good work out dvds? I'd like one that does body conditioning type exercises that I can do when the kids are milling around underfoot, and a cardio one (with wieghts and step is ok) for when I need to burn those calories!!!!!!

Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred! It's only 20 minutes, a little bit with weights, cardio's included and she doesn't go through every instruction over and over. Plus the DVD has the option to completely turn off her instructions, so once you've run through it a couple times, you don't have to listen to her any more!

It kicks my @$$.

View user profile

7 Re: Pilates: A Mind-Body Exercise on 18th April 2010, 10:39 am

carrieitly wrote:
Lizzie wrote:Can anyone else recommend good work out dvds? I'd like one that does body conditioning type exercises that I can do when the kids are milling around underfoot, and a cardio one (with wieghts and step is ok) for when I need to burn those calories!!!!!!

Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred! It's only 20 minutes, a little bit with weights, cardio's included and she doesn't go through every instruction over and over. Plus the DVD has the option to completely turn off her instructions, so once you've run through it a couple times, you don't have to listen to her any more!

It kicks my @$$.

thanks! my ass defo needs some kicking ha ha ha!

View user profile

Sponsored content


View previous topic View next topic Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum