Pilates & Piloxing: Foundations For Change
Pilates. Piloxing...? Pilates...?!
Pilates, a fitness movement that gained notoriety in the early 80's, is usually associated with dancers or dance training. Ballet dancers, specifically white ballet dancers, caught on to the fitness craze immediately and many still incorporate Pilates into their trainings.
So, you can imagine why many Black women are culturally unfamiliar with fitness routine and the amazing body benefits of Pilates or Pilates-based workouts. Keep reading for the 411 on why Black women should become more familiar with Pilates and Pilates-based exercises.
Here are a few of the "visible" results associated with Pilates (often characteristics associated with a "Dancer's Body"):
- Washboard Abs
- Toned Arms
- Tight, high ass
- Lean thighs
But girl. Chile. Those benefits are only the beginning. And ANY BODY can benefit!!!
Strong Like Bull - Your body is leaner and visibly more toned because you're working against your body weight, a form of strength training. This element not only develops visible muscles, improved physical strength, but often boosts the metabolism so you tend to burn fat at higher rates than normal. That's right. You can still burn fat post class -- a great WIN when bouncing around the city for spirits and such.
Minimal Joint Impact- Pilates movements (mat, floor or using a Cadillac) are extremely controlled and done at a slower pace and this reduces pressure/pain on the joints. A perfect alternative if you're a woman that runs or cross-trains, consider adding a Pilates class in the mix for balance.
Improve Your Focus - Pilates movements encourage controlled breathing, isolation of muscles Researchers believe Pilates may even hold potential as a treatment option for people with brain-degenerative diseases and cognitive dysfunctions.
Just like yoga, it's a time to zone out from the pressures of the world and focus solely on improving your movements, silencing your loud thoughts and improving breath control.
Improve Overall Performance - A stronger core and
The overall effectiveness of Pilates, in terms of health and wellness, are tremendous. When performed correctly, Pilates workouts are an excellent form of exercise for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, toning the muscular frame, improving flexibility, and relieving joint and back pain.
Modern iterations of the exercise include the use of the Reformer, fusion with yoga, dance, and now boxing as featured in Piloxing class offerings.
I discovered the Reformer / Lagree Fitness almost a year ago - single-handedly changed. My. LIFE.
Another post about the joys of Lagree, WHEW!!!!!
Every Pilates workout program should incorporate all six of the primary principles associated with the art. Keep in mind that Pilates is more focused on balance and flexibility than other similar forms of relaxing exercise types. It is important to focus on proper breathing at all times throughout the entire Pilates routine (Generally, you should exhale as you move into a position and inhale as you leave it).
Basic Pilates is one of the few exercise types that are can be performed on a daily basis, as many of the poses and movements are not overly strenuous so the body can quickly recover. Pilates movements are also known to reduce stress and increase flexibility along with and hence, the body requires little time to recover. In addition, Pilates workouts are also ideal for reducing stress, centering the mind, and relaxing and stretching the soft tissue of the body (i.e. muscles, ligaments, and tendons).
Once you've discovered a love for the workout after trying several classes, strongly consider
Pilates is ideal after a hectic day. If you choose to design your own Pilates program, it is best to set the time duration of your routine to an interval that will allow you to perform the routine on a daily basis. For example, for many individuals, performing their Pilates routine prior to their morning shower or immediately before you go to bed at night is ideal in that it allows them the ability to calm their mind and either ready themselves for the day or ready themselves for a good nights sleep.
However, it is highly important to remember to perform each of the specific exercises slowly and with a high level of precision. find that they enjoy routinely performing a Pilates routine, you may want to also consider trying some of the various types of Yoga routines and/or meditation as well.
So, have you tried Pilates? Willing to add it to your workout routine? Share below or on Social Media - #Representation ;) Would love to hear from you.
If you live in the Atlanta area, join me for a session or come to one of my Piloxing Class offerings!
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