During the past couple of months, home workouts have become more popular than ever, and people discovered they don’t really need the gym to stay in shape. Personal trainers adapted to this new reality and are streaming their workouts via social media, and our biggest challenge is finding the right plan for us, because the options are endless.
Pilates has gained popularity as one of the workouts you can easily do at home on a regular basis: it doesn’t require a lot of space and no special equipment, and it seems relatively easy. That last point is what we’re here for: it’s true that Pilates is recommended as a home workout, but it’s not as easy as it looks, and that’s why often, when we try to follow the instructions of a video, we find ourselves clueless during some of the exercises, or otherwise we perform them the wrong way. We’re here to provide you some essential Pilates tips that would allow you to take your workout to the next level.
Know your limits
This might sound like a horribly discouraging tip, but it isn’t: it only means that you should be attentive to your body and don’t push too hard, because it almost never pays off. Professional trainers advise that you start with small steps and a relatively low weight, get to know your body, perfect those movements, and only then can you consider taking it up a notch. Using lower weights (or no weights at all, in some cases) doesn’t mean you’re not getting the best out of your workout, but the other way around.
Focus on your breathing
This doesn’t apply only to Pilates, but breathing is an important part of any exercise, whether you’re jogging, lifting weights or practicing yoga. Taking deep breaths is crucial for getting through the workout, both mentally and physically. It’s important to be aware of your breathing, and take deep breath throughout the workout. Some trainers guide your breathing throughout the workout, but if you’re working with one who doesn’t, make sure you don’t forget to inhale and exhale.
Control your movement
This goes back to the first tip: don’t push yourself too hard – it’s better to do the exercises well than do them fast, and so even if you feel as if you’re slower than the trainer or the group, that’s okay. Everyone has their own pace, and it’s important to be in control of your movements. It’s better to get less exercises done, but get them all right, than getting thought the workout fast. That’s one of the advantages of home workouts: you don’t have to keep up with the trainer, since you can pause the video any time you want and make sure you get the positions right.
Engage your abs
This is an important tip to remember if you’re not sure you’re getting the positions right or getting the maximum results out of your exercise. Much like the breathing, this is something you need to be aware of throughout the active – it isn’t something that comes naturally to most of us, but it takes practice. Make sure to slide down your rib cage towards your hips and engage your abs.