For most of us, we know that Pilates is a kind of exercise that benefits us physically as well as mentally. It requires commitment and dedication to master the practice, so on and so forth.
But what this article wants to share are the facts that perhaps you do not know, some bits and pieces of information that are wonderful to know about a practice as popular and as effective as Pilates.
Fact #1.The original name of Pilates was Contrology.
The inventor of Pilates, Mr. Joseph Pilates, had the goal of instilling control of one’s mind and body. Joe created Pilates in a way that it focuses on the core muscles, including the pelvic floor, abdominals, and the lower back musculature. According to Chris Iliades, MD, “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.” He also designed the practice to help promote control and awareness of the breath and the spine for proper alignment. Thus, the name contrology.
Fact #2.The mat exercises are a classic and will always be around.
If you’re doing Pilates in the studios, you’ll know what I’m trying to say. According to William C. Shiel Jr., MD, “Pilates mat work is a series of exercises that are done on the floor without Pilates machines.” Joe’s 34 classic mat sequences are still being taught in classes worldwide. These include the double-leg stretch, the roll-up, single-leg stretch, and the hundred, among many more. Pilates enthusiasts can memorize these sequences even in their sleep. However, exercises such as yogalates and piloxing (pilates with boxing) just disappear after a year or so. The original mat moves, on the other hand, are always around, in fact, even returning with more popularity than ever.
Fact #3.An hour of practicing Pilates effectively burns calories the whole day.
One of the principles of Pilates is resistance training, which is scientifically proven to form new muscle, boost one’s metabolism, and ultimately shed off calories all day long. Cardio also works that way, but when you’re done doing the treadmill or bicycle, you stop shedding off calories too. With Pilates, you continue burning the calories even after you’re done.
“There are ways to increase the fat burning potential of a Pilates workout. Increasing the speed at which you do a routine, the level of difficulty of the exercises, and the length of the workout all burn more calories and move you closer to a fat burning stage,” Richard N. Fogoros, MD explains.
Fact #4.Pilates can be done even on a guillotine or a spine corrector.
Mr. Pilates had the hobby of tinkering with things so he could create equipment that is better than the ubiquitous apparatus. He has designed different equipment used for Pilates practice, and these include the Wunda chair, the spine corrector, the Ped-a-Pull, and the Guillotine. These kinds of equipment can still be found in several Pilates studios all over the world. You can only experience the best of what the practice has to offer if you have tried out any one of these mentioned machines.
Fact #5.Each Pilates style or move affects the whole body.
Pilates instructors, when they are in the middle of the class, ask their students, “Is your core engaged? Is your chest open? Are your legs contracting?” When doing a move, every single part of one’s body is working for that particular exercise. To make it more challenging, the instructor can ask her students to hold for a few seconds at the end of the range of motion to get the best benefits.
Fact #6.Pilates is still the exercise of choice for celebrities.
Madonna has in the past divulged how essential the practice is for her. She swears that it is one of the biggest reasons for her fit body, even until now. Christy Turlington is a fan of the traditional mat exercises and says that nothing can make her feel more flexible than Pilates. She also loves using the Reformer to massage her spine. Other celebrities who regularly practice Pilates are Edie Falco, Russell Brand, Molly Sims, Claire Danes, and Sara Michelle Gellar.
In A Nutshell
Many people around the world have come to love Pilates, as over the years they have realized that it has greatly affected their lives physically and mentally. They have incorporated it into their way of life, and if you are thinking about getting into the practice yourself, then you should start now.