The original Pilates Method was comprised of 34 different exercises performed on a mat on the floor, also known as matwork. Joseph Pilates, founder of the Pilates Method, invented several pieces of equipment to be used in his Pilates Method of exercise. Each piece of equipment had a specific series of exercises designed especially to make use of the various springs and resistance built into the machine. Using springs in resistance training results in "progressive resistance," which means that the more the spring stretches, the more resistance it will produce.
The most common Pilates machine or equipment is the Pilates Reformer. However, there are several other machines that are also popular, like the Cadillac (commonly known as the Trapeze Table); a Ladder Barrel and the Wundra Chair are also frequently used in the modern Pilates studio.
Whether you prefer the added resistance of springs, through the use of Pilates machines; or you like the natural resistance of gravity in the Pilates mat work, the Pilates Exercise Method will quickly build strength and develop proper posture and alignment while increasing flexibility. If you're trying to lose weight, a Pilates workout is an excellent addition to your weight loss plans. You'll notice a dramatic increase in your weight loss as you continue with the Pilates Method.
The most popular piece of Pilates equipment is the Pilates Reformer. The Reformer was invented by Joseph Pilates, the founder of the Pilates Method, in the 1920s. The Reformer is extremely popular and is often used because of its versatility and ability to adapt to various exercises. Many of the Pilates Method exercises can be performed on the Reformer, matwork, spring exercises and even the Cadillac exercises can be performed on the platform.
Using a Pilates Reformer can provide many benefits. It will strengthen your arms, legs, abdominals and back muscles â€¦ these are known as your core, or "powerhouse." The Pilates Method stresses the importance of strengthening these core muscles and all Pilates exercises start from the core and slowly move out towards the arm and leg muscles. All the pulling and stretching exercises are specifically designed to strengthen, lengthen, tone and define the muscles, without adding bulk.
Originally, the Pilates Reformer was built for rehabilitation purposes and it is still widely used for that purpose today. It is also a popular workout method for professional athletes who frequently use Reformer exercises to build cardiovascular fitness while strengthening their core muscles.
Many Pilates instructors and experts recommend mat Pilates for beginners. Doing mat work is an excellent way for the beginner to learn how to control their muscles while moving through the various exercises. Once the beginner has mastered the movements, they'll be better equipped to add the extra element of Pilates equipment or machines. Most students spend about 3 months practicing the mat Pilates exercises before they begin using a Reformer. One of the great advantages of using the mat workout is its convenience. All you need is a Pilates mat and you're ready to workout. If you prefer to exercise in the privacy and comfort of your own home, there are a number of excellent Pilates DVDs that can guide your through a Pilates mat workout. Always look for a Pilates DVD program that features a certified instructor to maximize your workout and ensure you use correct form. Pilates DVDs come in a variety of styles and fitness levels; find one that suits your personal situation.
When you get ready to add a Pilates Reformer to your exercise routine, you can either join a Reformer class, or purchase your own Reformer for use at home. There are many Pilates Reformers that have been designed for home use and the prices have become very reasonable. Choose a quality Reformer and you'll get many years of use from this amazing piece of equipment. Be sure you purchase an instructional DVD to help you get started!