What other workout…
...conditions and strengthens your ENTIRE body?
...uses gentle, controlled movements as a way to establish a meaningful mind-body connection?
...is for legit anyone and everyone? Tall, short, young, old, curvaceous, athletic, fitness newbies...I mean everyone.
The answer: NO OTHER WORKOUT. Pilates is that rare find that’s original. Untouchable. Wildy effective and freeing.
Also worth mentioning: in lieu of feeling like a rag doll that just went clunk, thud, splat down a staircase (your 5-year-old human wanted to see you fly), a post-Pilates workout will leave you feeling energized, fulfilled, confident, and mentally strong. Plus, you’ll build strength, flexibility, and improve your posture to a degree that’ll rival the poise of Kate Middleton.
Now that the pandemic has required the majority of us to spend our days sheltering at home, there’s no better time than now to exercise a little self-care and introduce Pilates into your weekly routine.
After all, by now you’ve literally done everything else: binge-watched The Queen's Gambit on Netflix, attended a virtual wine tasting party with girlfriends, tried dying your hair (twice), had an epic photoshoot with your paw-fect pup, and dabbled in some DIY crafting. So, really, there’s no excuse not to give it a try and get a taste for all the benefits you’ll reap from the practice.
Is Pilates a Good Workout?
First, I’d like to try and reframe your mindset surrounding exercise. It’s a way to respect your body by showing it a little self-love – i.e. working out and losing weight (or scoring a “bikini body”) doesn’t need to be so inextricably tied together. Over the years, the two have been lumped together thanks to outlets like Instagram, which essentially tells us how to look and feel.
Instead of punishing ourselves or sacrificing our happiness to adhere to an unrealistic ideal of body image, if we simply shift our thinking to focus on self-care and well-being, we’ll improve our mental health while still reaping all the natural physical benefits that come with exercise.
Pilates is not only a beautiful way to honor your body, but it’s an effective workout system that doesn’t require endless grunting or the clang of your weights hitting the floor after you drop them in relief. Instead, it’s incredibly peaceful. When you complete a session, you’ll literally feel inches taller, more balanced, and like your entire body is perfectly aligned.
There are numerous workouts that place a high level of stress on our bodies. What’s more, high-intensity exercises cause cortisol secretion, which can negatively impact our immune health and digestion. Yes, that includes wreaking havoc on our hair (bye luminous shine) and our skin (farewell dewy, fresh-faced glow).
Just because something looks extreme and intense doesn’t mean it’ll wind up delivering the best results. With every Pilates session, for example, the gentle movements are designed to harmonize your body – like your nervous, musculoskeletal, digestive, and lymphatic systems – with each session. Instead of tearing you down, Pilates works to build you up – helping transform your body and mind from the inside out.
Ready to give it a whirl? Here are 7 beginner-friendly Pilates mat exercises that'll transform your body.
1 | Half Roll Back
2 | Shoulder Bridge
3 | Hundred
4 | Scissors
Benefits: Builds abdominal strength and endurance and increases the flexibility of the hamstrings.
TIP: Keep the neck and shoulders relaxed and abdominals pulled in as flat as possible.
Imagine: Imagine each leg getting longer and longer as you switch legs.
5 | Side Bend
Imagine: Imagine creating a bow shape between the hand and the knees.
6 | Spinal Rotation
Benefits: Helps stretch the muscles of the spine, and release tension in the back and shoulders that may get tight from sitting in front of a desk or computer.
7 | Heel Squeeze
TIP: Don’t focus on lifting your knees off the mat. Instead, focus on properly engaging your abs and glutes to protect your lower back. You shouldn’t feel any tension in your lower back or shoulders.
Imagine: There’s a blueberry under your belly and you don’t wanna squish it down by sinking your belly down. Keep pulling the belly button in and away from the mat.
Not only is Pilates a simple and effective workout to pencil into your day, but you can perform these exercises from the comfort of your home – a.k.a what I like to dub, “the ultimate convenience.”
Ready to discover a new approach to movement? One that’s guaranteed to amp up your motivation and energy, boost your well-being, and make you feel truly confident in your skin? Meet my online membership program: The Pilates Club.