The basics of Pilates in 2021

Pilate exercise

High-intensity interval training can be too much for many of us, but a Hatha Yoga session might be too little. Pilates is the perfect compromise. Especially if you don’t have a lot of space at home, you can strengthen your muscles and improve your posture and condition with this systematic full-body workout. 

It is suitable for beginners as well as for advanced practitioners. The latter can easily supplement Pilates exercises with ankle weights or other weights.

Pilates can be done in your own home.
Pilates can be done in your own home.

The word itself means, above all, control. If it were up to the inventor, we would know it today under the term Contrology. Joseph Hubertus Pilates saw the core of this training above all in the fact that the muscles are activated as well as controlled with the help of the mind. This basic idea is still reflected today because the exercises all consist of slow and controlled movements, which are supplemented by conscious breathing. This is also perfect for the joints, which are not overused during the workout.  

The concept of Pilates is the idea of building muscles without putting on mass, finding a balance between strength and flexibility, and challenging the body without stressing it. The purpose of the exercise is the absolute harmony between mind and body.

Breathing is important for Pilates

An essential element is breathing. Breathing is considered a carrier of energy that supports active relaxation and ensures that the muscles are optimally supplied with oxygen during tension.

Pilates exercises are performed slowly and in a controlled manner to strengthen the deep muscles and protect the joints.

Above all, those exercises focus on the body’s core, i.e., the pelvic floor, abdominal and back muscles. Especially the deep-lying muscles, which are essentially involved in our posture, are strengthened in this way. In addition, it also improves your fitness, not to mention the other health benefits that come from regularly stimulating circulation.

Pilates is suitable for any fitness level. J.H. Pilates was interned in England during the First World War and began training soldiers with the same fate. After being released, he first trained police officers in Hamburg and later opened his first studio in the New York City Ballet building. The predominantly male clientele in the form of soldiers and police officers soon became outweighed by women, especially dancers. Today, the sport serves both women and men as an ideal home workout.

If you are a sports beginner looking for a suitable workout, you will enjoy the variety of those exercises. This is because the basic exercises are all quick and easy to learn. 

500 different exercises

In the 60s, Pilates was hyped as a wellness sport. In fact, the exercises don’t push you as much as a HIIT cardio workout, for example. Here, strength and stretching exercises are combined, including controlled breathing. If you have previous experience in Hatha Yoga, you are already well instructed in breathing. Pilates offers close to 500 different exercises. 

The training is suitable for every time of the day, as it is energizing, but at the same time relaxing. So it can be practiced in the morning to start the day with good energy and alignment or in the evening to leave the daily routine behind and end the day relaxed.

Here you will find advanced exercises to practice at home here:

Advanced level: or 

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Author: Marcus Mollbaur

Marcus is an longtime writer and journalist. Now, he lives with his wife in South-East-Asia and works as a freelance content writer on health, lifestyle, management, and business topics. He loves dogs and photography.

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