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Rehab: Pilates exercises for a lean body

Rehab: Pilates exercises for a lean body

Rehab: Pilates exercises for a lean body

The entire body is systematically trained in Pilates. The focus is on the abdomen, back and pelvic floor.

In the following article, we present different Pilates exercises for a strong back, flat stomach and slim body. With the help of the enclosed videos you can train at home. In addition, we will show you the tools for your Pilates exercises to make your workout even more intense and effective. In addition, we explain the four cornerstones of this training method and give tips and suggestions as you can also as a beginner a great exercise program at your home.

What is Pilates

Pilates is a full body training course developed by Joseph Pilates some 100 years ago. Special attention is given to this training method of the body center, that is, your core musculature. This area of your body represents the energy center of your body at Pilates, this power center is referred to as a “Powerhouse”.
Meanwhile, this holistic training method has been adopted worldwide and this is not without reason. Because, through the targeted construction and strengthening of the entire muscle apparatus, Pilates is ideally suited to improve your physical performance and to make you and your body fit.

The four basic elements of Pilates

Pilates exercises are determined by the following four cornerstones. These make Pilates a gentle yet extremely effective workout.

  • control

You should run each exercise in a controlled way. Be aware of the attitude of your body. For each exercise, your muscles should be activated in a certain sequence in conjunction with your breathing. What is decisive is your quality of movement and not your physical strength.

  • breathing

The basis of each Pilates exercise is your breathing, it plays a central role. In preparation for each exercise, you breathe deep into your chest through your nose so that your ribs open. During the effort, you breathe again through the mouth. The Pilates breathing technique is not unconsciously practicable, so it requires your concentration, but you will notice that the exercises will flow smoothly and orderly.

  • centering

The muscles in your body center should be the center of your attention. These muscle regions should be held by you, during the exercises, in a constant light tension. This stable center is called “Powerhouse”.

  • coordination

The necessary coordination for the pilates will be obtained by repeating the correct exercises. To make the movements exact, it is important that you establish soft and flowing sequences.


Pilates exercises to warm up

With Pilates, it is important that you concentrate fully on your body during the exercises. As mentioned above, Pilates is an all-body exercise, with the “Powerhouse” centering around you. This deeply strengthens the depth muscles around your stomach, your back and your pelvic floor. It is important to perform the exercises fluently and in combination with your breathing. Another special feature is that you train your body awareness as well as your mind next to your muscles.
Activate your “Powerhouse”, the center of every pilates exercise! With the help of the following video, this is an optimal solution. You will find a short warm-up program here. Prepare your body and mind for your next Pilates workout and use the time to recall the basics of the Pilates.

Pilates exercises for the back

In the video we link you will find a great training unit for a strong back and a flat stomach. Step by step, the exercises will be explained to you and you can orient yourself to the trainer during the execution.

The following exercise is especially well suited for you when you are suffering from low back pain, as the abdominal muscles that strengthen and stretch the back are especially stressed:

  1. Lie down on your back. The legs are angled, the feet are hip-width apart.
  2. Breathe deeply. When exhaling, you tighten your belly and pull the belly button to the spine (your powerhouse is activated).
  3. Your spine should stretch for a long time, and your lower back should press into the ground. So your spine now forms a line on the mat.
  4. The pelvis is slightly inclined, so that your pussy is a little higher than your hip bones.
  5. On the next inhalation, lift your coccyx to the ceiling. First the hip, then the lower back and then the rest, until you lie only on your shoulders.
  6. As you exhale, you slowly turn away, go back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat the exercise up to 5 times.

The Schwan – mobilization of the spine and strengthening of the abdominal and shoulder muscles

The Pilates exercise “Schwan” speaks to all the muscle groups to ensure that we have an upright body.

  1. Lay your belly on the mat, the look goes down.
  2. Put your hands and forearms under your elbows, your arms close to your body. The shoulders show away from the ears, they are moving backwards, so to speak.
  3. You can do the exercise with your legs closed or spread them apart.
  4. Activate again your powerhouse and pull the belly button to the spine.
  5. When inhaled, you slowly rise upwards. The hands and forearms push themselves into the ground, you raise your chest as far as possible upwards, the view is directed forward, the neck remains long
  6. Your pelvis is lying on the ground and is solid.
  7. Hold this position briefly and roll back down into the starting position piece by piece as you exhale.
  8. Repeat the exercise 5 times.

Pilates exercises for the belly

In this video you will be shown five effective and interesting Pilates exercises for a flat, tight belly. This unit is for both beginners and advanced!

The Hundred

This exercise will train your front and side abdominal muscles. It is important that the spine is kept neutral. Your focus should lie on your abdominal muscles, bring your muscles to work. Pay particular attention to the connection between your shoulders and your trunk. Your shoulders are loose and away from your ears, they should not roll forward. Look best at your belly so that it does not buckle forward.

  1. Lie down with your knees on your back. The legs stand apart, the knees pointing straight up and the feet forward. The arms are stretched towards the sky, the palms facing forward.
  2. Now you are slowly rolling up for vertebra and stretching out your hands by the Po. Your belly should work. Take care not to cramp your torso and keep your eyes facing forward
  3. Now the legs are stretched long forward and the heels are pressed together. The toes aim at a point. If you already have a lot of strength in the belly, you can now lower your legs a little further.
  4. Now, with your arms, you make a pounding movement (up and down) and the fifth rhythm. You also fit your breathing. That means five pumping movements you breathe out and five.
  5. You can make the exercise as long as you want, but be careful not to overload the abdominal muscles.

The exercises shown in the following video specifically form the lower body and deliver convincing results quickly. With this training unit, you are looking for a slim waist and tight legs!

Single Leg Circles

This exercise strengthens your oblique abdominal muscles and builds up stability in your torso. Also your hip flexor is activated and consciously controlled by you. You can do this exercise with legs stretched as well as flexed. Your back should remain on the mat during this exercise, the movement only comes from your hip. Your basin should be neutral and your neck long.

  1. Lie on the mat, your arms lie sideways beside you.
  2. Raise your right leg as long as you can. The back remains long on the mat.
  3. Now describe with your right leg a large circle across your body, down to the mat, then outward and back up again (the circle goes from the inside out).
  4. Run 5 rounds and then change the leg.
  5. You can start the exercise with small circles and then slowly pull larger ones.
  6. In the first semicircle (the inward) you breathe out, starting from the second half.

Pilates exercises for beginners

With the video linked here you can perform as a newcomer a great all-round training for a tight, slim figure. The exercises are perfectly coordinated, are first explained in detail and then implemented in a coherent flow.

FAQ Pilates exercises

In the following you will find answers to a few questions, which are always asked about Pilates exercises.

Are there Pilates exercises that you should master?

In contrast to yoga or aerobics, Pilates does not have the basic exercises. Pilates lessons and videos usually consist of very individual exercises. Some exercises are, of course, always repeated.

Is fat reduction possible at the same time during the Pilates muscle building?

Muscle build up and at the same time want to break down fat. In the case of bodybuilding, where the right muscle mass composition is concerned, there is the old wisdom “mass build up only with mass”. This means that you have to eat a lot in parallel to the intense workout and to get a bigger amount of muscle. Bodybuilders then compensate for this later in special phases where they try to keep their muscle mass and accelerate the fat reduction by means of sophisticated diets.
Pilates is different. It has a high power component and stimulates thereby the whole body is claimed the metabolism and the cardiovascular system. This allows you to speed up fat loss and increase muscle mass. The increase in musculature then leads to a larger basic turnover and this leads to further fat loss. Pilates, however, aims mainly at strengthening the stabilizing muscles and improving the body. With Pilates you will not reach the muscle growth of bodybuilders. But your muscles will still be stronger and you can look defined with Pilates. It is important, of course, that you take enough protein over your food so that your muscles can grow.

Pilates or yoga?

Pilates and yoga are very similar. Both are about strengthening and stretching the muscles and improving the posture and well-being. Nevertheless, there are differences. These differences are not always clear, as there are many different forms, especially in yoga. Yoga exercises for beginners are mostly characterized by the fact that they are held for a long time and are carried out only once. Pilates exercises are rather fluid and are repeated.
Another great difference is the importance of the mind in many often more than a thousand year old yoga forms. When it comes to yoga, it is quite often the mind to train. Yoga and meditation have a smooth transition. An important tool to train the mind is breathing in both yoga and meditation. Yoga therefore places a very great focus on breathing. With the Pilates is not so pronounced.

Pilates or Yoga for weight loss – what is more effective?

That is hard to say. Since there are so many different forms of yoga, some are very intense and others like Yin Yoga , which is getting more and more popular, is very quiet. The Pilates usually consists of flowing exercises and many repetitions of these exercises, one has on average perhaps with Pilates a higher calorie turnover.

Pilates or strength training?

Pilates is a systematic and effective workout for the whole body. During well thought-out pilates lessons or videos you train your whole body and the exercises are arranged so that agonists and antagonists are trained and thus muscular imbalances are avoided.
In a “real” force training individual muscles are trained more insulated. That is, the stimulus on the individual muscle is stronger and it develops faster more force. However, this results in slight dysbalances, because individual muscles are “forgotten”.

Pilates and fascia training

Faszientraining has been a great new training area for several years. Faszien permeate the body as a connective tissue-like web. They can stick together due to unilateral loads, lack of movement or injury. This causes tensions and pain.
But also through Pilate exercises, the fascia can be made supple and functional and held. The many gentle stretching and strengthening exercises with Pilates are excellent.

What is Piloxing? Pilates and boxing

Piloxing is a combination of Pilates and boxing with the aim of creating an intensive whole body training program, muscle building and fat reduction.
As the video below shows, Piloxing is very dynamic and – in our opinion – is much closer to boxing than to Pilates. As a sweaty workout, Piloxing is certainly a good thing, which is a lot of fun – even at home with the help of a Piloxing DVD .

Does Pilates help against back pain?

Pilates contains many exercises that require deep trunk musculature. This is especially important for a stable and painless back. Therefore it makes sense – if necessary after consultation with a doctor – to put on Pilate exercises against back pain. If you already have back pain, it is important to avoid the risk of incorrect loading.
A very important factor is the fun you have during the Pilatestraining in the group. This motivates to stay tuned and the muscles of the trunk sustained.

Does Pilates help you with stress?

Pilates consists of controlled exercises with focus on breathing. In the controlled version, the changing muscle tone can be observed very well, which has a soothing effect. Along with controlled breathing, you are forced to concentrate on performing your exercises at Pilates. This helps to turn off other things. In addition, any kind of movement caused by the release of hormones always has a positive effect against stress.


Pilates is great for training your muscles, shaping your body and improving your posture. According to the inventor, initial successes are to be seen even after ten units. Your muscles are particularly stressed between the chest and the pelvis. The exercises radiate on the whole body, however, and because it is important for Pilates that body and mind form a unity, the regular training also leads to a mental strengthening. Whether with or without aids, Pilates is a body-shaping whole body training. It uniquely combines strength with agility. In addition, the exercises are very variable and can be adapted to the individual anatomy, condition and objective of each individual.

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