Pilates is an Exercise program that actually targets the entire body for health and wellness. Specifically, it was called Contrology and named after Joseph Pilates, its creator. If you are a healthy person, Pilates will help to keep your body in shape and toned. It is a set of exercises that are actually "controlled movements" according to Wikipedia. Those same exercises help with people's flexibility and strength as well as targets specific spots that are troublesome. Pilates is an effective method of exercise for some people. It also builds endurance as well.

What is the Pilates method?

The Pilates method can be practiced on the reformer, the floor, and other exercise equipment. Similar to the same equipment you see in a gym. The exercises are controlled movements that occur as your body is aligned in a certain position. For example, if you are doing the 100, you place your arms straight and alongside your body and your legs are raised slightly off the floor or if you used the reformer like I did, off the reformer. As you inhale you raise your shoulders off the reformer and your legs off the reformer. Then, you lower your legs and arms, your head and shoulders back to the reformer. While in the raised position, you pump your arms up and down a couple of times.

You exhale while you do it. You rest for a bit and then repeat. You continue until you get to 100. By the time you are done with this exercise, you are tired. What this exercise emphasizes is controlled movements with an emphasis on you side-by-side that is your middle meaning abdominals. It also helps with your balance and coordination.

Another important piece of the Pilates Method is your breathing. As you exercise, you breathe out on the actual exercise and you breathe in on the return to the rest position. You breathe in filling your middle and then exhale from the bottom to the top. An example would be you do the exercise that has you make a C with your body.

You sit up with a straight back and you breathe in, then as you exhale you curve your back to a C with your body. Then, you return to the rest position. And repeat. The benefits that you receive from following this program are many. Not only do you lose inches, but you lose weight. Your posture improves. Your strength improves. Your flexibility improves. You can also do certain exercises as an isolated exercise in your chair like the C, instead of Kegels.

List of exercises and equipment

Here is a list of exercises completed in the program:

  • 100
  • Frog/seal
  • the C
  • Pelvic Curl
  • Sidekick
  • Leg pull front Back
  • Criss Cross
  • Roll up from flat back
  • Neck Peel for your abs
  • Obliques: Twist and Reach
  • Lower Back: Shoulder Bridge Part 1 &2
  • Upper Back: Pulling Straps
  • Upper Body: Tendon Stretch
  • Upper Body: Sparklers
  • Lower Body: Kneeling Knee Stretches
  • Lower Body: Kneeling sidekicks

As was previously stated, all these exercises are based on the control of your body: Body movements, breathing, coupled with precise movements and your concentration on doing the movements.

You can do it all on the reformer and on the floor. There are different types of reformers. For those who aren't in a class that uses a reformer, you can use a mat and set up shop anywhere to do the exercises. I read an article or rather saw in a YouTube video that the woman will do her exercises in the airport while waiting for her plane to arrive or to depart. You can do them anywhere.

Be a Pilates instructor

If you want to become a Pilates instructor, you should do some reconnaissance. Take different Pilates courses that are offered to see the different styles out there. Gain for yourself a feel for each style; then decide which style you like to teach. After sampling the classes, then find the course offered that teaches how to teach that style of Pilates that you like to do.

Decide if you are doing either a mat class only or if you are doing the comprehensive course which is both the reformer and the mat. Research your programs and look for certain indicators of good courses: 500 + hours of training with student teaching, recognition by the Pilates Alliance and also it as different parts of it or modules. After you have finished your course and are certified you can teach the style of Pilates that you like and be a healthier person.