Introduction to Mat Pilates
Pilates offers controlled core and breath exercises strengthen muscles and promote balance.
Mat Pilates provide excellent core strengthening and muscle control exercises for beginner and advanced students alike. Mat Pilates require students to rely on their own bodies to support them as they learn new moves. Using this introduction to mat Pilates, you’ll learn many benefits to doing mat Pilates that you can translate into workout use at home or at a class.
A strong core is the goal of many mat Pilates exercises. Most people are unaware of how their core is positioned when they walk or sit each day and don’t realize that by practicing a few Pilates exercises diligently each week, they can improve the way they look and feel in their bodies.
Mat Pilates core exercises often incorporate breathing practices. One popular exercise, called “hundreds,” engages the core and forces the exerciser to inhale and exhale in a controlled rhythm as she pumps her arms up and down at her sides.
You can tone your abdominal muscles and improve flexibility with mat Pilates. Performing leg stretches often accomplishes this task, as the exerciser must tighten her core as she stretches her leg muscles.
This exercise is performed by lying flat on your back on a Pilates mat. Tighten the abdominal muscles and bend one leg back toward your chest. Use your hands to pull your upper thigh muscles and draw your knee closer to your chest.
Performing mat Pilates is a great way to build muscle tone without bulking up your muscles at the same time. Unfortunately, many view this as more of a woman’s exercise, and thus some men write it off entirely. However, both men and women can benefit from gaining muscle tone and flexibility from mat Pilates.
One popular toning exercise, called the criss cross, is a good introduction to mat Pilates. Exercisers begin with their backs flat on the floor, hands behind their heads and legs raised in a 90 degree angle. Once they achieve balance in this position, they can twist their torsos and cross the left elbow across the abs to touch the right knee as it bends back.
By switching and repeating this exercise, you can tone your waist and improve flexibility in your spine.
If you’re beginning a new workout, think about adding an introduction to mat Pilates to your routine.