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- Basics
- Upside
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Reviewed By:
Liz Neporent, MA

Pilates Basics

Pilates WorkoutsPilates may sound like one of those $5 coffee drinks, but it is actually a highly sophisticated exercise form.

Pilates was originally created for injured war veterans, but the moves can teach you proper alignment so you move gracefully while working out your powerhouse muscles -- abs, lower back, thighs and buttocks.

The Pilates method concentrates on sculpting long, lean muscles that are strong and flexible at the same time. It strives not to overwork or neglect any muscle group as a method to avoid injury. There are two formats: One involves highly specialized machines with a private instructor, and the other is done on a mat as a group class.

Pilates can be adapted to accommodate a wide range of needs. It can benefit star athletes as well as your average Joe or Josephine .

Upside of Pilates

  • Pilates increases flexibility, strength and muscular endurance and improves posture, alignment, coordination and balance -- all without building bulky muscles.

  • Nothing is forced. You emphasize correct form rather than going for the burn.

  • The attention to the body's core, a focus that is missing from many workouts, can help prevent injuries.

  • Pilates promotes mind-body integration with improved breathing techniques and control of movement.

Downside of Pilates

  • Pilates can be expensive, especially private lessons on machines specially designed for Pilates.

  • If you like to master things quickly, this may not be the workout for you. Learning Pilates is a long-term, evolutionary process.

  • If you lack flexibility, this will be a very challenging way to exercise.

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Review Date: 11-08-2007

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