What is Pilates training?

Pilates is a type of exercise that benefits people of all ages. Pilates is a strength-training exercise, not an aerobic exercise that works your heart and lungs. When you do Pilates training, you learn how to have better posture and become more flexible.

A man named Joseph Pilates created these exercises in the 1920s to relieve his health issues. They've become a popular way to help people of any fitness level become healthier.

What to expect from Pilates training

Try Pilates training if you want to strengthen your core — the muscles in the center of your body. The exercises stretch and align your body, too. Pilates training also strengthens your thigh muscles, which helps to prevent injuries.

If you haven't exercised in a while, are healing from an injury or you're pregnant, check with your doctor before taking a Pilates training class or session. Start with the basic Pilates exercises that are gentle on your body. Then you'll progress as you become stronger, balanced and flexible. 

There are two types of Pilates training methods. You can train on a mat or on a piece of equipment with a sliding platform. It's built with springs, pulleys and bars and called a Reformer. You can find Reformers at some gyms or in a Pilates trainer's studio. Reformers are for resistance training. A Pilates movement on a mat or a machine is very slow and precise. That helps you isolate and strengthen deeper muscles. Each Pilates training session on a mat or machine takes about an hour.

Common conditions requiring Pilates training

There are some health issues that benefit from Pilates training, such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Knee injury rehabilitation

It's important to find a Pilates trainer who can tailor the moves for your orthopedic or other medical condition. There are also special Pilates programs for pregnant women. The strength-training moves of Pilates help keep your joints flexible and your muscles strong. When you combine Pilates training with aerobic exercise, your body can become stronger and have greater mobility.

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