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Pilates: A Complete Guide to Transform Your Body and Mind

Are you feeling dull with low energy and considering a workout plan that helps you tone your muscles and make you feel energized? 

I have the perfect workout for your mind and body, known as “Pilates.” You must have heard about it before and wondered what that’s all about. Over the years, Pilates has become popular as a full-body, low-impact exercise that can aid people in achieving their ideal levels of fitness and health.

Imagine waking up each morning with greater strength, self-assurance, and health. Well, you can achieve this by following my Pilates workout plan

Read this blog to learn the benefits and tools needed for Pilates. I also mentioned some tips to help with beginner Pilates workout routines.

What is Pilates and what are the health benefits?

What exactly is Pilates? It is a form of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, which can be performed slowly and with precision, focusing more on proper alignment and breathing techniques. 

People often compare it with yoga, but pilates is a different exercise that concentrates on your body's core muscles, such as the abdomen, lower back, inner and outer thigh, glutes, etc. without involving Eastern religious beliefs. 

The six principles of Pilates aim at breath, focus, centering, control, accuracy, and flow to help you get the most out of your workout sessions. 

The key to a successful Pilates workout is to concentrate on all six, and you'll discover that I have distributed my sessions by emphasizing them equally. There is an abundance of benefits of Pilates to improve your overall health, such as:

  • Strengthens your core muscles
  • Reduces back pain and stiffness
  • Improves concentration and flexibility
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Increase mind-body connection

Can Anyone Do Pilates?

Yes, Pilates can be done by anyone with the help of proper guidance and assistance. You can achieve the desired version of yourself by following my workout plan. To assist you in this life-changing journey, I have developed an app (for iOS and Android) called “Sweaty Studio.” 

I have curated all Pilates workouts and challenges from Pilates beginners' exercises to advanced levels to guide you thoroughly. I also focus on Pilates routines for each phase of your cycle which you can get on-demand. 

Everyone is a beginner initially, but you can achieve this over time. Get this app and begin your journey to self-assurance and a healthy body.

Equipment Needed

A few pieces of equipment are needed during a Pilates workout to support your body and offer resistance so that you can perform these exercises effectively.

  • Pilates Mat- Find one at your desired thickness (5mm or thicker is comfortable for me on my knees, wrists, and back) to support your body and provide cushion
  • Ankle Weights-  Provides resistance to tone your muscles without straining your joints
  • Resistance Band- Offer resistance during arm and leg exercise. I sell an affordable set for all levels for only $32! Buy them here.
  • Pilates Ring and Ball Set- To support your body during moderate to intense exercises, as well as hit those lesser-worked inner thighs!

How Often Should You Do Pilates?

According to ACSM's Physical Activity Guidelines, healthy adults aged 18-65 should perform 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity 5 days a week or 20 minutes of energetic aerobic activity 3 days a week. It is also recommended to do strength-building exercises, like Pilates, for at least 2 days a week, especially for someone who follows beginner Pilates workout sessions.

These are general recommendations, but remember that if you have a female body, your hormones are very different from a male body. It's important to listen to your body's energy levels when deciding how much and what exercise you need each day. Cycle syncing is a great way to achieve this.

You can follow a routine of 5–10 minutes on your busy day or when you have low energy. 15-20 minutes on medium energy days and 25+ minutes on high energy days, and when you have ample time. From my experience, the perfect amount of exercise after a workout is to feel tired but not exhausted to the point where you can sleep for 2 hrs.

Types of Pilates Workouts

I have certain types of Pilates exercises for different levels and situations, so you can follow along without stopping the workout.

Beginners Pilates Workout

My "Beginner Pilates" flows are the best type of workout to try first, especially when you are a newbie. I break every move down slowly and understandably and offer modifications to make the moves work for you wherever you are in your fitness journey.

Chill Pilates

In my "Chill Pilates" flows, the workouts are more complex than the beginner ones but are focused on keeping a slower tempo with lots of stretching and breaks to recover. If it feels too much, just come out of the move, take a breather, and try again.

Period Friendly Pilates

My "Period-Friendly Pilates" flows are created for your menstrual phase when you need a slow-paced flow to match your low energy and reduce the stress in your body. 

Consistency is the Key!

You can't rely solely on motivation throughout your Pilates journey to reach your goals. The most remarkable transformation happens when you find out dhow to stay consistent, even on tough days. 

Consistency comes by establishing your intention or "why" for starting your Pilates journey as your driving force. So that when you hit those rough, unmotivated patches, you can look back and spark your drive with the right intention. 

Ask yourself these questions and take help from them to get an extra kick.

  1. What feeling are you looking for when you work out, and Why?
  2. Describe who you want to be and feel this time next year.
  3. What is this version of you doing in their day-to-day?
  4. How are you going to become this person? List big and small steps for this answer (Make a roadmap for your self-growth).
  5. What is the driving reason behind your working out?

P.S. I made a FREE guide on how to stay consistent!

Tips to Follow for Your Pilates Workout as a Beginner

Once you get the kick to begin your journey, here are specific tips you can follow or modify in your Pilates beginners exercise.

For Planks

To make a plank movement easier, you can drop to your knees in a "modified plank position" with your weight above your kneecaps (never directly on your kneecaps), hips drop in a diagonal, flat back with squeezed booty, and tight abs.

  • To take pressure off your wrists- do the straight arm plank moves on your forearms
  • To take pressure off your low back- slightly lift your hips higher
  • To take the stress off your shoulders- lay on your back with your legs on a diagonal (45 degrees) and arms overhead by your ears, shoulder blades off the mat

For Bridges

  • To make the bridge easier- walk your feet closer to your body, and don't lift your hips so high. 
  • To take pressure off your low back- clasp your hands over your stomach and lift your hips to touch your hands, but do not go higher.

Booty on all 4's

  • To make these moves easier- drop to the forearm opposite your working leg and keep the working leg arm boxed out.
  • To take pressure off your wrists- make the moves on your forearms or box out the working leg arm
  • To take the stress off your low back- keep your core engaged, and don't kick so
  • high
  • To take pressure off your knees- put a pillow below the supportive leg's knee

Abs on Back

  • To make the moves easier- don't lower your legs quite as low, keep a bend in your legs at all times, and keep your feet planted on the mat if you are moving both your upper and lower halves
  • To reduce low back pressure- do not lower your legs so low to the point where your low back arches off the mat
  • To reduce neck strain- keep your hands behind your head

Bonus Tip: Exhale through your mouth on the most challenging part of the move and inhale on the easier part. This will give your muscles more oxygen to power through!

Final Words

If you want to learn more, download my FREE Pilates Starter Guide, which includes a free 7-day workout plan (with videos), product recommendations, and other tips.

If you're ready to take your Pilates journey to the next level and officially become a part of the transformative Pilates world, then start today! Sweaty Studio is a virtual Pilates studio filled with monthly challenges, plans, cycle syncing tips, and on-demand and live classes to make you feel confident with a healthy mind and body. PLUS: you get 2 weeks FREE just for signing up :)

xx, Cal

P.S. If you're new to Pilates, this is the perfect place to start! I have hundreds of beginner workouts just for you at Sweaty Studio, sign up with a free trial and give it a shot! Ok ily and see you soon :)

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