Slim Down For Summer With Pilates

A Pilates workout offers multiple benefits, including improved muscle tone and strength. Because Pilates focuses on slow, low-impact movements, the basic exercise system is well-suited for people who are overweight or leading a sedentary lifestyle while advanced Pilates can still challenge more active participants. Pilates body sculpting improves muscle tone, but may need to be combined with other exercises to burn off excess fat.

What is Pilates?

A Pilates workout is a series of exercises and movements designed to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility, improve overall health and strengthen the mind-body connection. Pilates was invented in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Long used by dancers, the popularity of Pilates workouts has increased in recent years.
Pilates focuses on the “core” or “powerhouse” muscles, such as the abdominal muscles and lower back muscles. As each movement in a Pilates workout should move smoothly into the next motion, Pilates body sculpting requires full concentration on the movements’ form. According to Pilates himself, a movement performed correctly five times has more benefit than twenty repetitions with incorrect form.

A basic Pilates workout only requires a Pilates mat. More advanced Pilates body sculpting requires the use of special Pilates machines or equipment such as exercise balls, rings and barrels. Because mat-based Pilates doesn’t rely on specialized equipment, it’s the most common and popular Pilates workout.

The Elongated Muscle Myth

Like any popular exercise program, claims have been made about Pilates that are incorrect. People often believe that Pilates elongates the muscles, resulting in a lean, limber look. In reality, you can’t lengthen muscles. Pilates body sculpting does, however, improve posture and flexibility,