Pilates is an excellent exercise to tone your body, improve your flexibility and muscle strength. A large number of people around the world rely on the health benefits of performing Pilates regularly. Not only this, Pilates also helps to increase your performance in all sports and physical activities. Whether you like running, playing soccer, tennis, or any other sport, including this form of physical activity can improve your performance on the field. Here are the 5 most important Pilates moves that can help you run faster.
1- Lateral leg lift
Lie on your right side on the Pilates mat. Your body should be completely straight, be sure to check that your head is neither higher nor lower than your feet. Exhale and pull your abdominal muscles inward and gently lift your left leg from your lower leg. Raise your leg as high as you can. But don’t move your pelvis. Pause for a few seconds and bring your leg back. Repeat these 10 to 15 times and then switch sides and perform the same movement with the other leg.
2- Prone leg lift
Lie on the floor comfortably face down. Place both hands under the forehead with palms facing down. Involving your abdominal muscle, gently tighten your core muscles. Keeping your knees straight, slowly lift your left leg off the ground. Keep your leg in the air for 5 seconds and then slowly bring it back to the floor. Don’t turn your back or pelvis while lifting your leg and keep breathing. Repeat the same movement with the other leg.
3- March Bridge
Lie comfortably on your back with your feet slightly apart and your knees bent. Your arms should rest by your side. Push your heels toward the floor and lift your pelvis to bring your knees, pelvis, and shoulders in a straight line (bridge pose). Now, maintaining this posture, raise your right knee to your chest (lift it as far as you can). Then lower it slowly and repeat the same with the other leg. Don’t allow your pelvis to bend as you raise and lower your knees. Repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times.
4- Shoulder bridge with kicks
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hips apart. Squeeze your core muscles, press your heels against the floor, and lift your pelvis and hips off the floor to place your knees, hips, and shoulders in a straight line (bridge pose). Now lift your left foot off the floor and extend your leg at a 45 degree angle and then move it up as much as you can. Don’t bend your knees while doing so. Pause for 2 to 3 seconds, exhale and gently lower your leg to place your foot on the floor. Lower your hips back on the floor to maintain body stability. Repeat the same with the other leg.
5- Scope of opposition
To start, put yourself on your four knees: your hands should be aligned with your shoulders and your knees aligned with your hips. Stretch your left arm in front of you and your right leg in the back. While you’re at it, keep your pelvis and torso still and your spine should be neutral. Exhale and activate the abdominal muscles to bring the leg and arm to the starting position. Repeat the same with the other leg and hand.
Some myths you should beat before doing Pilates
Getting fit and exercising is a very broad topic; It can be very confusing and overwhelming to delineate the good from the bad and, in a way, prevent you from taking advantage of the true benefits of a workout. We have all fallen victim to these lies and myths. However, what we don’t realize is that eliminating these little misconceptions can make us stronger, smarter, and, not forgetting, fitter in no time. Here are some of them:
You’re too old to do Pilates
Many people give up exercising after a certain age, considering that their bodies are not “capable” enough to lift weights or submit to pressure. This is absolutely false. Conversely, exercise can reverse many lifestyle problems, delay aging, or improve the health of older adults suffering from chronic diseases. If you’re worried about hurting yourself, remember that there are exercise regimens and training programs suitable for all ages that can benefit your body. Therefore, when it comes to exercising, age again is just a number.
You can’t do Pilates if you’re not well
Most of us think that when we are “sick,” we are also sick to exercise or move. According to experts, this is partially false. Yes, your body may be tired or exhausted, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be physically active. Exercise can also make you recover faster. While you should absolutely refrain from overdoing it, you can try experimenting with your regimen, relaxing, and exercising at the same time. Don’t push yourself, but don’t take a break completely.
You need to do Pilates for a minimum of an hour
Again, if you’ve been thinking that doing an hour of exercise each day, without fail, will pay off, think again. It is not always necessary to do so. In fact, studies have shown that reducing your exercise and the time you spend doing it can actually help or break it.
For starters, a study from a Canadian-based university found that one minute of interval training guarantees roughly the same benefits to your body as a rigorous 45-minute jog session. Even engaging in regular household chores or taking advantage of activities that require being physically active can be leveraged as an exercise regimen and may eventually benefit you as well.
Standing all day? Does not count as exercise
We all spend our days probably moving and being physically active, but we dismiss standing as exercise, thinking it’s no use. This is a myth that you must eliminate. While it may not actually help you burn the same number of calories as an intensive regimen, all of these steps actually allow you to improve your physical well-being in the long run, meaning you’ll be in a better position to exercise or Pilates than those who lead a more sedentary lifestyle.
Pain and gain go hand in hand
Exercises and workout routines have to be incredibly hard and painful, right? Some people are actually afraid to exercise, thinking about the pain that follows an intense exercise session. If you believe in this philosophy, you’re simply ignoring the other positive benefits exercise has to offer and setting yourself up for unhealthy expectations. As long as you exercise the right way, in a moderate to intense way, you won’t always prepare to experience the not-so-pleasant effects of exercising.
From your personal experience: What do you think of doing Pilates and these myths that stop many from starting to exercise? Leave us a comment to discuss the issue.