Beginners’ Guide To Pilates, The Workout You’ve Been Seeing All Over Instagram

Beginners’ Guide To Pilates, The Workout You’ve Been Seeing All Over Instagram
Image by @senivpetro / Freepik

If you’re bored of the usual YouTube workouts and would like to take your fitness journey up a notch, there’s Pilates for you. Scroll through Instagram and you’ll see that this workout is well-loved by personalities like Camille Co, Joyce Pring, and even BLACKPINK’s Jennie.

Don’t get too intimidated by Jennie’s advanced moves, though! Pilates is such a versatile workout it can be done even when you’re pregnant. OneLife.ph got to chat with Jamie Samson, a freelance fitness instructor and movement specialist for Options Studio, about how Pilates works and the benefits you can get from doing it!

The basics

Pilates is a low-impact and low-intensity physical fitness workout developed in the early 20th century to improve your health and well-being. It was initially called “Contrology”.

According to Jamie, Pilates has three guiding principles. “(1) whole body health, the development of the body, mind, and spirit in complete coordination; (2) whole body commitment, the mental and physical discipline to achieve whole body health; and (3) breath to which the body relies for overall function.”

Some Pilates exercises may use a reformer, which is an equipment that looks like a bed, with springs, pulleys, and ropes. However, Jamie says that it’s not a requirement!

“Believe it or not, Pilates’s foundation is its mat exercises. The machines, like the reformer, serve as aids to help you perform the mat exercises with a light as a feather feeling, getting to the true strength of your core muscles.”

“Proper breathing helps with the circulation of blood which nourishes all the tissues of the body,” she says. It also helps carry away impurities, or what is called “internal shower”, a “cleansing mechanism that results in mental and physical invigoration and rejuvenation.”

This workout is low in impact and intensity because you need to connect with your body, be aware, and become committed to the routine.

“To perform all Pilates exercises successfully, the practitioner should commit to the movement, incorporate all muscles for balanced muscle development, have control over their body through true core strength, being aware and keeping the center, have precision, and follow rhythm with the breath,” Jamie says.

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The benefits of Pilates

Jamie started doing Pilates in May 2019. She says that it made her feel centered, and that it helped with her physical and mental health.

“I remember when I started training to be an instructor, I’ve never felt so light in my life. I’ve been active since I was in high school, I got into dance, running, martial arts, etc. but I’ve never felt the lightness I acquired from Pilates,” she shares. “Mentally, I feel confident and calm, like I could take on anything with a calm mind. I am more aware and focused as well since practicing Pilates requires a lot of that, including control.”

Aside from these benefits, Pilates also helps coordinate your breath with your movement, making you more self-aware and turning that into a habit.

“We find our true core strength, hold our posture, and feel lighter and taller. Through this strength we gain self-confidence, restore natural body movement, and enhance quality of life,” says Jamie.

And since Pilates is all about strength and stability, it also helps develop mobility and flexibility in your movements. “It helps us integrate mind, body, and spirit — and in turn, have mental and spiritual rejuvenation and a sense of well-being,” she adds.

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Yes, it’s safe for pregnant women!

Mommies Joyce Pring and Camille Co have shared their Pilates workouts on social media during their pregnancy.

 

“It is safe for pregnant women, that’s for sure,” Jamie confirms. By doing Pilates, you can help tap pelvic floor muscles that help support the weight of the baby up until delivery. “It also helps the expecting mom maintain good posture and in feeling light while in term,” she adds.

Note, however, that it is still best to consult with your doctor before doing any activity outside of your usual if you are expecting.

What to expect on your first session

If you’re ready to try this Instagram-favorite workout, here’s what you can expect from your first session, according to Jamie:

  • A lesson on the basics of Pilates, core, body awareness, alignment, spine shapes, breath, and finding length.
  • An interview with your practitioner about your goals, body concerns, posture, flexibility, and the like.
  • You will be trying basic exercises for beginners.
  • After the session, the goal is for you to feel lighter, balanced, and more aware of your body.

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Where you can book classes

Options Studio Manila

One Life Studio

 Integrated Body Arts Pilates

 

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