Fight cellulite with these Pilates Power Gym reformer exercises

Fight cellulite with these Pilates Power Gym reformer exercises

While many women invest lots of money in expensive creams and cosmetic procedures to get rid of cellulite, there’s a natural way to combat this unwanted dimpling of the skin using Pilates. Since cellulite is the result of fat that builds up under your skin, there are ways to combat it naturally, including some targeted exercises you can do on the Pilates Power Gym mini reformer.
 

According to personal trainer Ariane Hundt, the keys to getting rid of and preventing cellulite are: “losing body fat, firming the muscle underneath the skin, following a low-carb diet, and boosting circulation and blood flow.”

 

Experts agree that losing weight will help combat cellulite along with diet and exercise. Women are more prone to have cellulite compared to men because women store fat in their thighs, hips and butt.

 

“With Pilates, you’re hitting areas in the hips and buttocks that get missed with traditional exercises, thus increasing circulation in those areas,” said Thomas Elzner, founder of The Skin Spa in NYC.

 
According to Beverly Hills dermatologist Harold Lancer, MD, Pilates has become Hollywood’s anti-cellulite workout of choice. “It uniformly strengthens and stretches muscles and redrapes the fascia that covers muscle like the casing on a sausage,” explains Lancer.  “The vertical tethers that cause dimpling are connected to the fascia, and when it stretches, the tethers stretch. Pilates is like ironing the sheets.”

 

Exercises that work the legs from multiple angles “can reduce your cellulite and make your lower body look smoother and firmer,” says Prevention advisor Wayne Westcott, PhD.

 

Here are some exercises on the Pilates Power Gym reformer which can help combat that dreaded cellulite:

Side-lying leg press

Pilates Power Gym exercise

Instructions:

1. Use any 2 power cords to begin with to see which tension you like best. It should be on the lighter side as a beginner.

2. Lie on your side with your torso propped on your elbow and forearm which are on the Glideboard. Place your upper foot on the footbar parallel to your body, toes pointed to the side. Bend your bottom knee and relax it on the Glideboard.

3. Now push against the footbar with your upper leg until it is straight. Pause for a moment, then bend your knee in toward your chest, keeping the foot pointed directly sideways. Keep your hips stacked and contract your abs to avoid rolling forward or backward. Continue to straighten and bend your knee until you begin to feel a burn. Repeat on the other side.

 
Leg circles

Leg exercise on the Pilates Power Gym
Instructions:

 

1. Lie on your back with your head on the Headrest. Attach a Foot Strap securely to each foot. Bring your legs as vertical as possible and in line with your hips. Keep your legs straight and rest your arms at your sides.

 

2. Circle your legs in an outward direction away from each other, by circling them out, down and back together to the vertical position, keeping your legs as straight as possible.

 

3. Complete the recommended reps, then repeat in the opposite direction. Circle your legs inward by pressing them down, out, and back together to the vertical position, keeping your legs as straight as possible.

 

Perform 6 to 8 repetitions in each direction. Inhale to begin circle, exhale to complete circle.

 

 

The Scooter
Pilates Power Gym exercise

Here are the instructions for The Scooter:

1. Place your hands firmly on the Foot Rest Bar Assembly, shoulder-width apart, and carefully kneel on the Glideboard. Place the inside foot against the pulley arm on the same side with your knee still bent on the Glideboard.

2. Place your opposite foot flat on the floor close to the bar, knee bent and aligned over your ankle in a lunge position. Keep your arms and back straight, abs contracted and shoulders relaxed.

3. Maintain this position and press the Glideboard back using your buttocks muscles. Pause, then slowly return the Glideboard forward to the starting position. Complete all the reps on one side, then switch position and repeat with the other leg.


 

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Improve physical coordination and balance with these Pilates Power Gym reformer exercises

Improve physical coordination and balance with these Pilates Power Gym reformer exercises

We’re continuing our 2018 Pilates Power Gym Challenge with exercises to help you with coordination and balance. Balance allows you to stay upright and stay in control of your body’s movement, while coordination is a skill allowing you to move two or more body parts smoothly and efficiently to complete a task. Coordination requires good balance.

“Everything we do on a day-to-day basis relies heavily on our balance, yet it is often neglected and is certainly underrated as a form of exercise training,” say Pilates experts. “From early childhood development, right through to our later years of life the ability to maintain a controlled body position whilst performing a certain task is essential to our every-day functioning.”

Pilates instructor, Crystal Chin, says, “You don’t need to be a dancer to realize how important coordination is in daily life. From hand-eye coordination to mind-body coordination, we all need it to drive, eat, walk, and workout… Pilates was specifically designed to improve coordination of the entire body.”

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Coordination Exercise

pilates exercise

Here are the instructions for the Coordination Exercise on the Pilates Power Gym:

1) Use any 2 power cords to begin with to see which tension you like best. It should be on the lighter side as a beginner.

Lie on your back with your head on the Headrest. Bend your knees and align them over your hips with your calves parallel to the Glideboard, legs together and toes pointing up. Grasp one handle in each hand with your palms facing forward and the forearms vertical to the Glideboard.

2) Exhale and simultaneously press your arms down toward your sides while raising the head and shoulders off the Glideboard in a “crunch” motion and straighten your legs to a 45-degree position. Inhale and open your legs to a “V” position.

3) Exhale and cross your arms in the center between your thighs, keeping your head and shoulders lifted. Inhale, return your arms to your sides and bring your legs together. Lower your head onto the Headrest and bend your knees.

Celebrity Pilates and Yoga instructor, Kristin McGee, demonstrates the coordination exercise below:

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Here are two Pilates Power Gym exercises to work on your balance:

 

Elephant Exercise

1) Use any 2 power cords to begin with to see which tension you like best. It should be on the lighter side as a beginner.

2) Start by standing on the Glideboard with feet shoulder width apart and heels 6 inches in front of the Shoulder Rest. Hinge at the waist and keep legs straight and take hold of the foot rest with both hands.

3) Inhale and contract the core muscles and draw the lower body closer to the foot rest. Exhale, and return to the start position with the Glideboard fully extended away from the foot rest.

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Single Leg Elephant Exercise

The Single Leg Elephant exercise is a more advanced version of the regular elephant exercise.

Elephant pilates exercise

1) While performing the regular elephant exercise, raise left leg up and point straight to the back. While holding leg at waist height, move back and forth on the glideboard with the right leg.

2) After a few back and forth repetitions, stop your movement and carefully place left leg down. Then raise right leg to the same position at waist height and repeat.

 

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Exercises for Sexy Arms on the Pilates Power Gym

Exercises for Sexy Arms on the Pilates Power Gym

This article is part of our new series: The 2018 Pilates Power Gym Challenge. We challenge you to master a variety of exercises on the Pilates Power Gym during 2018. Each month we will put the spotlight on essential Pilates Power Gym exercises targeted at a specific area of the body.

This month we highlight exercises for your arms.

“Pilates is a great way to achieve toned arms and shoulders because it helps create long lean sleek muscles,” explains Pilates instructor, Keri O’Meara. “It focuses on using specific fibers of the muscles and working them in a shortened and lengthen position.”

 

Also, using a reformer offers more resistance compared to doing Mat Pilates, due to the design of the pulley and spring system.

 

The following exercises on the Pilates Power Gym mini-reformer can help to strengthen and tone your arms for a long, lean look.

 

Arm Circles

Pilates exercise Arm circles

Here are the instructions for Arm Circles:

1. Lie on the slide board and rest the balls of your feet on the footrest. Grip the handles, stretch your arms upwards with the palms facing towards the footrest.

2. Form large circles with your arms by moving them downwards to your sides, away from your body, over your head and back to the starting position with the palms facing towards the footrest.

3. Keep your back flat on the slide board. Make 5 circles in one direction, then in the other direction.

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Statue of Liberty

statue of liberty arm exercise

Here are the instructions for the Statue of Liberty exercise:

Use any 2 power cords to begin with to see which tension you like best. It should be on the lighter side as a beginner. Sit centered and sideways on the glideboard in a cross-legged position.

Grasp the front handle with the hand farthest from the handle, palm facing your chest. Pull the handle all the way up and through the chest until the arm comes to a resting position that is 45 degrees from the head and neck. Slowly lower the arm to the side of the body and repeat.

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Bicep Curls

bicep curls on Pilates reformer

Here are instructions on how to do Bicep Curls:

Concentrate on training the biceps, lower arms and shoulders.

1. Sit on the slide board with your face towards the handles and rest your feet on the slide board. Grip the handles with your palms facing upwards. Stretch out your arms in front of you.

2. Keep your elbows close to your sides, breathe in and move the palms of your hands towards your shoulders. Keep your back straight all the time.

3. Breathe out as you pull in your arms. Breathe in as you slowly return your arms to the starting position again.

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Great #bicep curls on the #PilatesPowerGym!

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Fancy Footwork on the Pilates Power Gym

Fancy Footwork on the Pilates Power Gym

This article is part of our new series: The 2018 Pilates Power Gym Challenge. We challenge you to master a variety of exercises on the Pilates Power Gym during 2018 (we’re starting a little early). Each month we will put the spotlight on essential Pilates Power Gym exercises targeted at a specific area of the body.

This month we highlight exercises for your feet and calf muscles.

FOOTWORK

Pilates reformer footwork exercise

In the footwork exercise, you have an easy way to stretch and flex the arches of your feet. It is important to strengthen your arches so you can prevent foot pain. Strong arches mean strong feet and less chance of injury.

“Your foot’s centerpiece is the arch, the greatest weight-bearing design ever created,” says Christopher McDougall, author of a book on running. “The beauty of any arch is the way it gets stronger under stress; the harder you push down, the tighter its parts mesh.”

On the Pilates Power Gym, you do the footwork exercise laying down! Here are the instructions:

Use any 3 power cords to begin with to see which tension you like best. It should be on the lighter side as a beginner.

Lie flat on the Glideboard and rest your toes on the Footrest. Breathe in and push the footrest away with the muscles of your right leg. Breathe out as you slowly return to the starting position.

Now press with the muscles of your left leg. Breathe out and return slowly to the starting position. Change legs and imitate the running step as much as possible.

 

RUNNING
Running exercise on Pilates Power Gym

Yes, it is possible to “run” while laying down on the Pilates Power Gym. The running exercise is similar to the footwork exercise, but it has a greater effect on your calf muscles.

According to personal trainer, Andrea Cespedes: “The calf muscles act to stabilize your ankles and feet. When your calves are strong, they are better able to provide this service and can help prevent rolling or excessive pronation or supination — in which your foot turns inward or outward, respectively.”

Also, your calves help lift the heel when you run, walk and jump. And a shapely, muscular calf muscle looks good too!

Here are the instructions for the Running exercise:

Use any 2 power cords to begin with to see which tension you like best. It should be on the lighter side as a beginner.

Begin by placing the balls of your feet on the foot bar. Bring your knees and thighs together and place your arms along your body on the carriage. With an inhale take the carriage all the way out extending through the legs. Do not hyper extend or lock the knees, keep your legs glued together. Exhale and drop the right heel and simultaneously lift the left heel. Repeat on the other side. With every exhale push one heel down and lift the other heel up getting full extension so one heel goes as low as it can as the other heel is going as high as it can.

Start slowly, but rhythmically inhaling and exhaling, keeping your pelvis in neutral position so that you engage your abdominals. This is a really great exercise to strengthen the legs but it is also a good exercise to strengthen the abdominals. Speed it up as you desire, it should feel like you are running in place. When finished, bend your knees back up until the carriage has retracted.

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A great way to work those calf muscles!

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Choose which Pilates Power Gym model is best for you – click here to see a comparison of the PRO and PLUS models. – T.Y.

 

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Tone your arms and get rid of arm flab with these powerful Pilates Power Gym exercises

Tone your arms and get rid of arm flab with these powerful Pilates Power Gym exercises

The great advantage Pilates students have when using a reformer is the ability to specifically target individual muscles on different parts of the body – like your biceps and triceps.

“The reformer can train many parts and dynamics of the body in so many different ways with just one relatively sleek piece of equipment,” explains Pilates instructor, Jean Chen Smith.

“The movements provide resistance and movement to help build strong bones and eccentric muscle contractions,” continues Smith. “This is when a muscle lengthens and resists a force, which leads to achieving the long, strong muscles without bulk that Pilates is known for.”

Here are four powerful and effective arm exercises to tone and strengthen your arms:

1) Serving the Bread

Work your arms and build core strength by “Serving the Bread” on the Pilates Power Gym

2) Tricep Overhead & Low/side Tricep Press
The Low Tricep Press and Overhead Tricep Press arm exercises help combat arm jiggle at the backs of the arms. Finally, a way to get rid of the flab!

3) Bicep Curls

Get ready for long and lean sculpted arm muscles that result from these controlled movements and the resistance levels available on the Pilates Power Gym

 

“The reformer offers all the usual benefits of Pilates, including overall strength, flexibility, coordination and balance,” concludes Smith. “These things lead to better posture, graceful, efficient movement… The reformer is large enough to accommodate full-range motion, which is wonderful for increasing flexibility while building strength.” – T.Y.

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5 ways the Pilates Power Gym will change your life!

5 ways the Pilates Power Gym will change your life!

So you’ve made the decision to incorporate Pilates into your fitness routine, but did you know there’s a way to maximize the benefits of Pilates even more with the Pilates Reformer?

You can take your workout a step further by using a Pilates reformer. Sure, you can spend hundreds of dollars taking classes at a Pilates studio, but who has the time or money for that?

If you really want to set new fitness goals and stick to them, you’ve got to get the Pilates Power Gym! Pilates, cardio and strength training are all available to you in the comfort of your own home with this fantastic piece of fitness equipment. It may sound too good to be true, but the Pilates Power Gym can literally change your life!

1) Target your core

If you haven’t heard by now, having a strong core is the basis of being in good physical condition. Celebrity Pilates trainer, Kristin McGee, says that the Pilates method is so important to the world of fitness “because of its focus on core strength. Our core is our foundation and we all need to learn how to lead from our center and support ourselves from our powerhouse. Then we can do anything in life and other fitness modalities.”

Combining smooth, continuous resistance with the body’s natural movements, the Pilates Power Gym delivers efficient, effective workouts. That means longer, leaner muscles, increased flexibility and enhanced joint mobility.

“The best part of working out on a reformer is the gliding sensation — it always makes me feel like I’m flying,” says Heather Andersen, studio owner and director of a Pilates studio in New York City. She explains the reformer is there to “resist and assist your body weight to help find and strengthen your core and limbs.”

2) Cardio goes vertical

Imagine lying down and still being able to run and jump! Our Power Flex Cardio Rebounder serves as a mini trampoline of sorts located on one end of your Pilates reformer.The rebounder provides a cushion like platform for your feet, knees and legs to rebound from. As a result, you will not wear out your joints or cause strain. The rebounder accessory provides a unique low-impact version of running or jumping when compared to doing these activities on a hard surface.

The rebounder attaches to the footbar enabling you to bounce on and off the canvas with your feet. The glideboard allows you to relax and lay comfortably while your legs and feet do all the work. No more treadmills or long walks outside in the elements needed! This low-impact movement gives you a great cardio workout.

3) Elevation increases intensity

“One of the best things about the reformer is its versatility,” says Jean Chen Smith, Pilates studio owner.  “Exercises can be done lying down, sitting, standing, pulling the straps, pushing the footbar, perched on the footbar, perched on the shoulder blocks, with additional equipment, upside down, sideways and all kinds of variations.”

But wait there’s more! The inventor of the Pilates Power Gym added something that most large and expensive reformers don’t have – an incline. Different height elevations allow for more intensity in your workouts and added strength training options.

4) Safe, low-impact workouts

By being in control of each movement using the Pilates Power Gym, you exercise efficiently, reduce stress on your body and enhance your overall health and well-being. That is why Pilates is a game-changer for those in physical therapy, rehabilitation and even pregnancy!

“There are many exercises an individual can do on the Reformer – it is not limited to a specific body part,” says Jean Chen Smith. “That, in my opinion, is one of the many benefits of the Reformer. This piece of apparatus can work the legs, arms, abdominals, glutes and extension – all with no impact.”

5) Save money and time

For an affordable price, you can bring the gift of physical fitness into your home with the Pilates Power Gym. You’ll save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars by not having to pay gym membership fees or taking expensive studio classes. On the Pilates Power Gym, you’ll be able to tone and strengthen every part of your body: abs, back, shoulders, arms, thighs, hips and calves thanks to the machine’s fluid, organic movement.

Plus, you’ll be able to save time by doing workouts in your own home – and in as little as 10 minutes a day, you can do a quick variety of exercises that will start producing results.

“The best thing about Pilates is that you don’t have to be good at it to get the most benefits,” Andersen says. “Pilates is designed to help you be stronger and more fit, no matter where you are in your practice.” – T.Y.

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Quickly flatten your abs with strength training exercises on the Pilates Power Gym

Quickly flatten your abs with strength training exercises on the Pilates Power Gym

If you want to flatten your abs as quickly as possible, start working out on the Pilates Power Gym mini reformer. Nothing intensifies your workout quicker than different levels of resistance targeting your core muscles.

The Pilates Power Gym is a special piece of at-home equipment that has four different bands offering many levels of resistance. When you combine resistance with specific targeted exercises, you can speed up the process of toning and flattening your ab muscles.

 

“Because of its focus on core strength, Pilates is by far one of the most useful methods in fitness.” says Celebrity Pilates and Yoga instructor, Kristin McGee. “The reformer adds extra resistance and can help strengthen and lengthen the muscles even further. It also helps as a tactile aid so people know truly where they need to be working from.

ROWING

The outdoor practice of rowing in a canoe has been brought into the world of fitness with the “Rowing” exercise. Build your core strength by moving your arms in a forward and backward motion as if you are pushing your canoe forward in the water. This exercise not only tones your arm muscles but also focuses on your core:

 

LAT PULLS
While one may assume that lat pulls only affect your arm muscles, this exercise also depends on the core. Laying down on the Pilates Power Gym glideboard with your feet in the air for this exercise forces your core to work just as hard as your arms, and tone the abs as a result.

 

 

HIGH ROW
Add some height to your workout when you use our Wonderbox. While you do exercises such as the high row and low row, you are forced to use your abs to sit up straight and control your movements.

 

Here you’ve got just a sampling of how to start building your core strength and flatten your abs using the Pilates Power Gym mini reformer! Plus, as you progress and build your strength on each exercise, you can easily increase the intensity of your workout by adjusting the four resistance bands on the machine.

 

Check out more strength training and Pilates exercises on our website at https://pilatespowergympro.com/exercises/

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Quick Beginner’s Pilates workout on the Pilates Power Gym

Quick Beginner’s Pilates workout on the Pilates Power Gym

If you’ve been on the fence about whether to try Pilates, here’s a quick way to jump in and get your feet wet!

Pilates is one of the best ways to exercise for people who need to get back into the world of physical fitness. It’s low-impact, doesn’t require much sweating and is easy to learn.

“Pilates is a lifelong practice and one that keeps you centered, strong, flexible and healthy,” Celebrity Pilates trainer, Kristin McGee, says. “It’s something you can do in any stage of life and it complements all other activities. I would say everyone should get acquainted with it and use any of the movements they can on a daily basis to live in their bodies in a way that feels amazing!”

Pilates, which is an exercise methodology of targeted and controlled movements, provides toning and sculpting of muscles while building core strength. Pilates is known to have many benefits by improving flexibility, posture, stability and balance. It also can treat back pain and provide therapy for people with various diseases including breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.

If you’re wondering what the advantage is to use a reformer versus just doing the exercises on the mat, Kristin McGee explains that the reformer offers you a big advantage: “All of those straps, ropes and pulleys combine to provide resistance, build strength and flexibility and help align your body while doing Pilates.”

Here’s a quick series of exercises that can all be done while lying on your back on the Pilates Power Gym. Talk about low impact! These exercises target your core and tone and sculpt your muscles for amazing results.

(click on each photo for detailed instructions)

1) The Hundreds
The most basic of Pilates moves, The Hundreds is a simple exercise that focuses on strengthening your core

Pilates exercise

2) The Bug

The Bug emphasizes concentration, one of the 6 principles of Pilates, while coordinating movements for the arms and legs simultaneously

Pilates exercise The Bug

3) Arm Circles

Sculpt your arm muscles quicker with the help of greater resistance by using the arm bands on the Pilates Power Gym

Pilates exercise Arm circles

4) Bridge

Strengthen your back and core at the same time with this simple, yet challenging exercise

Bridge exercise
As always, consult with your doctor before practicing any exercise program.

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See why both men and women love the Pilates Power Gym from the inventor himself, Kevin Abelbeck

See why both men and women love the Pilates Power Gym from the inventor himself, Kevin Abelbeck

With over 200,000 units sold worldwide, it’s easy to see why the Pilates Power Gym is so beloved by fitness enthusiasts. Created by inventor Kevin Abelbeck, The Pilates Power Gym is a mini Pilates reformer machine that incorporates the best of both fitness worlds, combining the targeted aspects of Pilates with strength training that appeals to both men and women.

“I saw a limitation on the amount of tension that Pilates provides because it wouldn’t really also give a good strength-building workout,” explains Abelbeck. “Pilates equipment [reformer] is basically a platform that moves on a linear track. So what I had to do was to come up with a way to increase the tension other than just with the springs… I made an incline.”

As a result, both men and women can get an intense workout on this type of Pilates reformer with its multiple levels of height elevation. In addition, four different tension bands also increase the variation in strength-training and resistance available in your workout.

“The four bands are four different tensions, so you have the combination of these four which can be used for every exercise,” Abelbeck continues. “You have a great deal of variability in the amount of tension you can provide. The idea is that you can make it suitable for everybody.”

Watch Kevin Abelbeck demonstrate the versatility of the Pilates Power Gym

The latest versions of the Pilates Power Gym mini-reformer offer new ways to give your body the best workout ever. Building on the original model of the Pilates Power Gym, the Pro model offers 3 height variations, while the Plus model offers 15 different elevations. This versatility offers challenging workouts for beginners to the most advanced athletes.

In addition, both models now offer a cardio option with the Cardio Rebounder mini-trampoline. This accessory easily attaches to the foot-bar and provides a dynamic, flexible surface that will help you link muscle motion and stabilization, increasing the number of muscles used with each exercise. The unique bouncing ability gets your heart rate up while lying in a horizontal position.

Pilates is a form of exercise that has been growing in popularity for the last 70 years ever since Joseph Pilates wrote his book Return to Life through Contrology in 1945. Pilates is the practice of controlled movements which build strength and improve flexibility throughout the entire body. Celebrities and fitness gurus all over the world have become devoted to this unique form of exercise. They love Pilates because not only is it low-impact, but it is also extremely effective.

With repeated practice of Pilates, the muscles of men and women become toned and sculpted. “Muscles you don’t even realize you have you can work with Pilates because you can target and tone specific little muscle groups,” says Pilates and yoga instructor, Kristin McGee. “The beautiful thing about Pilates is it gives you that long, lean muscle tone because you’re working with that nice fluid movement and control.”

When entrepreneur and former actress Denise DuBarry-Hay met Pilates Power Gym inventor Kevin Abelbeck, she was so impressed with his compact fitness machine that she started promoting it through her own company, Kaswit Inc.

“I haven’t seen anything on the market like it of its size that can compare with the quality of the Pilates Power Gym,” DuBarry-Hay explains. “It’s a solid, well-engineered serious piece of fitness equipment.”

With its compact design and multiple workout options, “the Pilates Power Gym is perfect for home use,” Denise continues. “You can do so many exercises on it, working every part of your body. The tension cords allow you to work your muscles to exhaustion at your fitness level and it’s easy to add tension (like adding weights) as you become stronger.” – T.Y.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Pilates and Pilates Reformers

Frequently Asked Questions about Pilates and Pilates Reformers

Q: Can I lose weight doing Pilates?

A: Yes, combined with a healthy eating plan! Pilates helps tone and strengthen the body, which contributes to losing inches and body fat.

“Abs are made in the kitchen,” Celebrity Pilates trainer Kristin McGee says. “What you eat is as important as how you move, so combine healthy eating with Pilates and fitness and you’ll be a lean, mean fighting machine! Don’t ever give up on fitness and healthy eating….your body is your only home and you need to keep it clean and fit.”

With the Pilates Power Gym mini-reformer, you automatically receive a nutrition guide with daily menus to help you stay on track and eat the right number of calories. See some great “Before and After” results of people who have used the Pilates Power Gym : https://pilatespowergympro.com/videos/

 

Q: Do I have to be flexible to do Pilates?

A: No, in fact, Pilates has been shown to help people with various injuries and diseases rehabilitate their bodies. The low-impact and focused method of muscle strengthening with emphasis on the core can help people who are recovering from car accidents, cancer, athletic injuries and even those living with multiple sclerosis. For example, exercising on a Pilates machine like the reformer can help MS patients relieve spasticity, the painful tightening and stiffness of muscles.

 

Q: Can men do Pilates?

A: Absolutely! The toughest male sports athletes including football, basketball and tennis players do Pilates workouts faithfully to maintain a fit and strong body. The same principles that make Pilates effective for men also apply to women making it one of the most popular workouts around.

The Pilates advantage is that it offers an intense muscular workout focusing on controlled muscle movements. The fluidity of motion and precision of exercises that Pilates requires translates into a gentle low-impact workout which can be done sitting or lying down. With repeated practice of Pilates, the muscles of men and women become toned and sculpted.

 

Q: Can I do Pilates while pregnant?

Celebrity Pilates and Yoga trainer, Kristin McGee, answers:

“Yes, especially if you check with your doctor and do seated work and leg work and abdominal work with modifications. Pilates will help strengthen your deep core muscles that help support your back and your baby. It will also tone the pelvic floor muscles, which is great for delivery and recovery.

If you’ve never done Pilates before your pregnancy, you can start with simple movements and a trained instructor. On a Pilates reformer, you can do more leg and arm work and more seated work (if lying down bothers you during pregnancy) and you have the assistance of the machine to help you in certain positions.”

Read more about doing Pilates while pregnant

 

Q: Can I do Pilates at home?

A: Yes, with a reformer like the Pilates Power Gym Pro and Plus, you can easily bring the magic of Pilates into your home with one compact and portable piece of equipment. This unique Pilates mini-reformer combines Pilates with strength training replacing over 17 gym weight machines.

Celebrity Pilates and yoga trainer, Kristin McGee says: The Pilates Power Gym “is compact and yet so similar to the original Pilates reformer. It’s easy to use and effective. I find it’s great for a newbie or an expert. It’s also very intuitive and helps people stay in correct alignment. It’s an affordable option for Pilates and it truly delivers results. Best of all it’s just FUN!”

 

Q: Why is doing Pilates so expensive?

A: Pilates does not have to be expensive! You can avoid the high price of taking private classes in a Pilates studio by doing Pilates at home. The Pilates Power Gym is an affordable piece of equipment allowing you to exercise in the comfort of your own home anytime day or night. A variety of Pilates Power Gym classes are available to access 24/7 online through The Fitness Channel.

 

Q: What are the advantages of doing Pilates on a reformer compared to a mat?

A: The number of Pilates exercises you can do on a mat is much more limited when compared to the quantity available on a Pilates Reformer. Working out on a Pilates mat focuses mostly on your core, but on a reformer, you can work practically every part of your body.

The reformer also offers versatility enabling you to perform exercises in a plethora of different body positions including: on your back, side, stomach, seated forward or backward, and on your feet or knees. Also, since the reformer is low-impact on the joints and muscles, it is ideal for those going through physical therapy or rehabilitation.

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Pilates exercises to flatten your belly over the holidays

Pilates exercises to flatten your belly over the holidays

Over the holiday season, you may be visiting relatives out of town and feel like exercising is not possible. Without access to your everyday Pilates workout equipment or DVDs, what are you to do?

Celebrity Pilates and yoga instructor, Kristin McGee, believes that you can practice fitness and Pilates exercises wherever you are. As a busy traveler, Kristin shares on her social media accounts some of the most unlikely places to stretch out her muscles – including the airport!

While you may not feel the need to flex your muscles while waiting for a flight, there are plenty of exercises you can do in a hotel room or relative’s home. Kristin shares with us some of her tips to stay in shape while on the road, and even work on a flat belly while you’re at it!

The Hundred—This move is great to get the blood pumping and the breath flowing. Start lying on your back and lift your head and neck up off the mat. Extend your legs out to a forty-five degree angle and stretch your arms long at your sides. Hover the arms off the floor and start pumping them vigorously up and down five times on an inhale and five times on an exhale. Repeat 10 times for 100 pumps. Amazing for a flat belly!

Climb a Tree—I like this move for massaging the internal organs and for creating space in the sides of the waist and hamstrings. Lie down on your back and lift your right let straight up in the air. Inhale and start to climb up the back of the thigh until you sit up nice and tall. Exhale roll back down one vertebra at a time. Repeat three times and then switch to the opposite leg. Awesome way to scoop out lower abs and lengthen the body.

Single Leg Straight Leg Kicks—Lie down on your back, lift your head up off the floor and both legs straight up to the ceiling. Lower your left leg ten inches from the floor as you pull your right leg towards you and pulse it twice, then kick the left leg up and do the same pulse. Continue switching sides for ten repetitions. Single leg kicks really work the abdominals and get the legs moving which aids with digestion. I think of this move as a walk or run on your back initiating the movement from your core. You will definitely stimulate digestion with this exercise and flatten the belly.

The Saw—Any twisting motion is great for stimulating digestion and massaging the internal organs and entire core region. I particularly love the saw because it feels so good for the entire body and stretches and strengthens the obliques and lower abs. Sit up nice and tall with your feet hip width apart. Open your arms to your sides and twist towards your right foot then imagine sawing off the right pinky toe with the left pinky finger. After three little pulses, scroll up through the spine and twist in the opposite direction and repeat. Do each side five times.

Swan Dive—Finish with the “swan dive” to really massage the entire front body and help stoke the digestive furnace. Lie face down on the mat with arms overhead. On an inhalation, lift the entire body up off the mat. Exhale, and lower back down. Repeat five times. If you are very advanced you can try rocking back and forth in this position.

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Pilates or Yoga: Which is a better workout?

Pilates or Yoga: Which is a better workout?

While many people may wonder if they should do yoga or Pilates, the real question to ask is should you combine the two for an optimal workout routine. Many celebrities and fitness trainers practice both Pilates and yoga and find that the the two fitness disciplines truly complement each other.

“I like how yoga aids in flexibility which allows Pilates practitioners to go deeper in to their practice and connect easier with their core. When your limbs are loose, you can access your powerhouse easier,” explains Pilates and yoga trainer, Kristin McGee. “I also think yoga adds a lot of standing work that you won’t find as much of in Pilates so you can find your core when your practicing your balance standing. The two are very complementary to each other and I love them both.”

Yoga is an Eastern approach to exercise which originated in India. Yoga, which also has spiritual and mental aspects, focuses on specific bodily postures and breath control. The different yoga poses focus on flexibility and strengthening of the muscles around the spine. As a result, “posture is improved, thus alleviating back, shoulder and neck pain.”

Yoga also includes deep breathing and simple meditation which is practiced to achieve relaxation. As a result, yoga has been shown to “lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol even after one session.”

Pilates is a Western approach to exercise created by Joseph Pilates in Europe, and then the U.S. Pilates exercises focus on strengthening the core stomach muscles while concentrating on controlled breathing. A variety of exercises done while laying down, sitting or with equipment can work virtually every muscle in your body. While almost all muscles can be toned and tightened through the various exercises, Pilates does a better job at strengthening your core than yoga.

For those wondering if they should try Pilates, celebrity trainer Kristin McGee has this advice: “Pilates is a lifelong practice and one that keeps you centered, strong, flexible and healthy. It’s something you can do in any stage of life and it complements all other activities. I would say everyone should get acquainted with it and use any of the movements they can on a daily basis to live in their bodies in a way that feels amazing!”

Many fitness instructors like Kristin McGee started out doing yoga and then added Pilates to their regimen. In fact, the woman behind the Pilates Power Gym, Denise DuBarry Hay, got her start in the fitness world through yoga. Her love of yoga has been a great complement to Pilates.

“Yoga and Pilates are similar in that they both promote flexibility and stretching, and muscle development, however, they approach these results in different ways,” Denise explains. “Many yoga postures are isometric stretches that you hold for 20-30 seconds, where most Pilates moves are repeated over and over. They are both highly effective forms of exercise and I enjoy both.”

While many of the exercises may be different, the goals of Pilates and yoga are quite similar. They both emphasize mental awareness and concentration with low-impact stretching and strengthening of muscles. Why not get the best of both worlds and incorporate both yoga and Pilates into your workout routine! – T.Y.

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Why Smart Men Do Pilates

Why Smart Men Do Pilates

If you think Pilates is only for women, think again! The toughest male sports athletes including football, basketball and tennis players do Pilates workouts faithfully to maintain a fit and strong body. However, the same principles that make Pilates effective for men also apply to women making it one of the most popular workouts around.

The Pilates advantage is that it offers an intense muscular workout focusing on controlled muscle movements. The fluidity of motion and precision of exercises that Pilates requires translates into a gentle low-impact workout which can be done sitting or lying down.

“Pilates improves sports performance. You’ll find the exercises condition the whole body—even the ankles and feet, which contribute to healthy, balanced muscles,” claims Madi Rice, writer for The Parks fitness website. “You’ll also increase in tendon, bone and ligament strength which is vital for all athletes.”

Many people don’t realize that in addition to being a great workout, Pilates is also an effective form of physical therapy. It has been shown to help people with various injuries and diseases rehabilitate their bodies. The low-impact and focused method of muscle strengthening with emphasis on the core can help people who are recovering from car accidents, cancer, athletic injuries and even those living with multiple sclerosis.

“What most guys are doing now, they’re using it as a preventative measure, so it’s almost like ‘prehab’ in a sense,” former NFL player Nate Burleson said. “Most guys, especially if you’ve been in the league for a while, your off day is a subtle work day. You’re doing some type of work to keep your body as loose and limber as possible.”

Tennis star Andy Murray recently credited Pilates for his comeback: “It’s helped my back a lot,” Murray said. “I feel physically much healthier with my back than I did at this time last year. It’s not just that – my tennis has been good as well – but it’s been a big, big factor for me.”

The reason that both men and women alike love Pilates is because it provides great results. “It’s not like weight training . . . it’s all about control and body position, which receivers like myself need the most,” Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown said.

Pilates was intended not only for mat work but also on equipment. Throughout his life, Joseph Pilates created many forms of apparatus to practice his “contrology” exercises. In addition to workouts on the mat, there are a multitude of exercises which can be done on various pieces of Pilates equipment including the ladder barrel, the Wunda chair, the Cadillac and the Reformer. These pieces of equipment offer a wide range of additional Pilates exercises not possible on the mat.

The Pilates Power Gym, a mini Pilates reformer machine created by Kevin Abelbeck, incorporates the best of both worlds, combining the targeted aspects of Pilates with strength training that appeals to both men and women.

“This Pilates equipment [reformer] is basically a platform that moves on a linear track,” explains Abelbeck. “So what I had to do was to come up with a way to increase the tension other than just with the springs… I made an incline.” As a result, men and women can get an intense workout on this type of Pilates reformer with its three levels of height elevation.

With repeated practice of Pilates, the muscles of men and women become toned and sculpted. “Muscles you don’t even realize you have you can work with Pilates because you can target and tone specific little muscle groups,” says Pilates and yoga instructor, Kristin McGee. “The beautiful thing about Pilates is it gives you that long, lean muscle tone because you’re working with that nice fluid movement and control.”

 

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Should You Do Pilates During Pregnancy?

Should You Do Pilates During Pregnancy?

There are so many physical and mental benefits to practicing Pilates, but should a women be doing Pilates during pregnancy? What are the advantages of doing Pilates while pregnant, and is it safe?

We asked Kristin McGee, a certified Pilates instructor and a new mom to Timothy (born in 2013), to give us some expert advice about doing Pilates during pregnancy.

Q: Is doing Pilates during pregnancy safe?

Kristin McGee: YES! It can be, especially if you check with your doctor and do seated work and leg work and abdominal work with modifications.

Q: Can you start doing Pilates during pregnancy if you’ve never done it before?

Kristin McGee: It’s best to have had some background first, but you can start with simple movements and a trained instructor. Pilates is excellent for strengthening the pelvic floor and transverse abdominals and can help with labor and delivery and postnatal recovery.

Q: Did you use the Pilates Power Gym during your pregnancy?

Kristin McGee: YES!!! The entire time.

Q: Since Pilates is so focused on ‘core work’ how will that affect my ‘core’ during pregnancy?

Kristin McGee: It will help strengthen your deep core muscles that help support your back and your baby. It will also tone the pelvic floor muscles which is great for delivery and recovery.

Q: What are the advantages when you are pregnant to do Pilates on a reformer compared to a mat?

Kristin McGee: You can do more leg and arm work and more seated work (if lying down bothers you during pregnancy) and you have the assistance of the machine to help you in certain positions.

Q: What adjustments should I make to the Pilates Power Gym exercises while I’m pregnant?

Kristin McGee: For some women, after the first trimester lying on the back becomes problematic if you feel faint or light headed (vena cava pressure), so you would have to lie sideways, sit up right for exercises or do the standing scooter work and kneeling planks etc.

Q: Which exercises on the Pilates Power Gym are best for me to do during the various trimesters?

Kristin McGee: You can do almost everything you have in the past as long as you listen to your body. In the first trimester, focus on leg work and everything you can do while lying down on your back. In the second trimester, work your arms in an upright position, and in the third trimester, elevate the machine so you can do squats and elevated footwork.

Q: How long should my workouts be on the Pilates Power Gym?

Kristin McGee: As long as you want and feel good about doing; but I used to go 20-30 minutes when pregnant.

Q: Are there any exercises one should avoid?

Kristin McGee: No deep crunches (or lying on back if you feel short of breath) and always check with your doctor first and also just listen to your body!

Q: Can Pilates help with labor and delivery?

Kristin McGee: 100%

Q: Any advice on using the Pilates Power Gym after I’ve had my baby? How soon can I start using it again?

Kristin McGee: I started using mine again within 3 weeks, but check with your physician. If you’ve had a C-section you may need to wait 6 weeks before starting up again. Also again use your own judgment and do what feels good when you’re ready, your body will tell you.

Q: Any tips on losing baby fat?

Kristin McGee: I nursed, I walked a lot pushing Timothy in his stroller, I used my Pilates Power Gym and ate a well rounded healthy diet with fresh vegetables, lean proteins, wholesome carbs and little daily treats like dark chocolate!

For the past five years, Pilates and yoga instructor Kristin McGee, has shared her fitness expertise with HSN viewers as our on-air Pilates Power Gym spokesperson. Kristin teaches 10 of our Pilates Power Gym classes on The Fitness Channel. She is also a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a brand ambassador for C9 Champion at Target.

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Top 5 reasons Kim Kardashian and YOU should start using the Pilates Power Gym

Top 5 reasons Kim Kardashian and YOU should start using the Pilates Power Gym

Kim Kardashian recently received the Pilates Power Gym and kindly sent us a thank you note that said: “Thank you so much for the pilates machine!! It’s such a great workout – I can’t wait to use it. Love, Kim Kardashian West.”

However, we haven’t heard any feedback from her yet on how she likes using the machine. She hasn’t posted any selfies of her using it either!

So, we wanted to remind Kim and all of you why you should stop procrastinating and get on your new Pilates mini-reformer as soon as possible. While a great benefit of the machine is that it is compact and you can store it easily under your bed or in a closet, please don’t leave it there to collect dust!

It’s time to get proactive with your new Pilates Power Gym and here are the top five reasons why:

1) The Pilates Advantage

Pilates has so many benefits as a way to exercise. Not only can you achieve results in a short amount of time, but the exercises are designed to be gentle on the body. With repeated practice of Pilates, your muscles will become strengthened and sculpted.

“The beautiful thing about Pilates is it gives you that long, lean muscle tone because you’re working with that nice fluid movement and control,” says Celebrity Pilates and yoga instructor, Kristin McGee.  “Muscles you don’t even realize you have you can work with Pilates because you can target and tone specific little muscle groups,” McGee continues. “Pilates is like an inner girdle. It just scoops everything in.”

2) Amount of Exercises

The number of Pilates exercises greatly expands when using a Pilates machine like the reformer compared to the exercises possible without equipment. Practicing Pilates on a mat focuses mostly on your core, but on a reformer, you can work practically every part of your body.

The reformer also offers versatility enabling you to perform exercises in a plethora of different body positions including: on your back, side, stomach, seated forward or backward, and kneeling or standing on the glideboard. (Multiple opportunities for cool selfies, Kim!)

3) For Any Fitness Level

The Pilates Power Gym can accommodate any level of fitness user from first-time beginners to the most physically advanced workout buffs. Inventor Kevin Abelbeck designed the machine to allow users to advance at their own pace.

With the multiple resistance settings and different height elevations, you can easily adjust the intensity of your workouts. As a result, the Pilates Power Gym advances with you and your fitness progress.

4) A Stress Reducer

Joseph Pilates designed his method of exercise to not only give the body a full workout, but also the mind. Pilates called his original method of physical training “contrology” since he believed that deep mental awareness of body movements was essential to the technique. Exercise without mental concentration, he thought, was literally a waste of time.

With an emphasis on deliberate concentration, as opposed to doing your workout on automatic pilot, Pilates can play a role in reducing stress.

“Stress reduction is a profound benefit of a regular Pilates practice,” says Pilates instructor, Leah Stewart. “Pilates helps to ease the effects of stress through the implementation of its central principles: breathing techniques, body awareness, relaxation, concentration, mindfulness, balance and harmony.”

5) Not Just Pilates

In addition to experiencing all the benefits of Pilates while using your mini-reformer, the Pilates Power Gym gives you the option to easily add strength training and cardio to your workout. It replaces over 17 gym weight machines with its inventive tension cords, glideboard, foot straps, cardio rebounder and multiple resistance settings.

The Fitness Channel offers a great variety of Pilates, cardio and strength training workouts on the Pilates Power Gym. Fitness trainer Steven Maresca offers high energy cardio classes using the machine while Pilates and yoga instructor, Kristin McGee leads several different Pilates classes including some that target specific areas of the body.

So, there you have it – to Kim Kardashian and everyone else out there, get going on your Pilates Power Gym and let us know how you like it!

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Pilates

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Pilates

Attention Pilates fans, here are five facts about Pilates that you may find surprising:

1) Pilates was invented for WWI prisoners of war

Joseph Pilates was a German living in England when World War I broke out. He was placed in an internment camp where he started helping prisoners to stay fit by implementing a unique method of muscle toning and strengthening. Pilates taught exercises that he had created for himself to his fellow inmates, including those who were bed-ridden. He got his inspiration for the future Pilates reformer by using bedsprings to create resistance.

2) Pilates is a great form of physical therapy

Pilates has been shown to help people with various injuries and diseases rehabilitate their bodies. The low-impact and focused method of muscle strengthening with emphasis on the core can help people who are recovering from car accidents, cancer, athletic injuries and even those living with multiple sclerosis.
[Note: Check out our Pinterest page for more articles about “Pilates as therapy”]

3) In Pilates, control of the mind is equally as important as control of the body

The original name of the Pilates method was “contrology” which emphasized the use of the mind to control muscles. Pilates believed that deep mental awareness of your breathing, working your core, controlling your movements, fluidity of motion, precision of exercises and being mentally present during your workout were essential to physical health. Exercise without mental concentration, he thought, was literally a waste of time.

4) Pilates is a great complement to yoga

Celebrity Pilates and yoga instructor, Kristin McGee, explains why the two fitness methods of Pilates and yoga work well together:
“Yoga aids in flexibility which allows Pilates practitioners to go deeper in to their practice and connect easier with their core (when your limbs are loose you can access your powerhouse easier). I also think yoga adds a lot of standing work that you won’t find as much of in Pilates so you can find your core when your practicing your balance standing. The two are very complementary to each other and I love them both.”

5) Pilates was intended not only for mat work but also on equipment

Throughout his life, Joseph Pilates created many forms of apparatus to practice his contrology exercises. In addition to workouts on the mat, there are a multitude of exercises which can be done on various pieces of Pilates equipment including the ladder barrel, the Wunda chair, the Cadillac and the Reformer. These pieces of equipment, like our own Pilates Power Gym, offer a wide range of additional Pilates exercises not possible on the mat. – T.Y.

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Top 3 reasons to use a Pilates reformer vs. a mat

Top 3 reasons to use a Pilates reformer vs. a mat

Everyone’s doing Pilates these days as part of their fitness routine, but what is the best way to do Pilates? Should you practice Pilates on a mat or on a reformer?

We’ve got the answers for you! When compared to doing Pilates exercises on a mat, here are the top three advantages of using a Pilates Reformer:

1) Amount of exercises

The number of Pilates exercises you can do on a mat is much more limited when compared to the quantity available on a Pilates Reformer. Working out on a Pilates mat focuses mostly on your core, but on a reformer, you can work practically every part of your body.

“Mat work is a smaller part of the entire Pilates repertoire,” explains Pilates instructor Lisa Johnson.  “Using just your body and no props, there are about 50 or so exercises… There are over 250 moves you can do on a Pilates Reformer.”

The reformer also offers versatility enabling you to perform exercises in a plethora of different body positions including: on your back, side, stomach, seated forward or backward, and on your feet or knees.

2) Great for beginners and advanced

Do you have to start learning Pilates first on the mat before you move on to the reformer? Not at all!

Many trainers believe beginners to Pilates can absolutely start out on the reformer saying that “the reformer does facilitate a better initial understanding and connection with the powerhouse muscles,” when compared to mat work.

Also, since the reformer is low-impact on the joints and muscles, it is ideal for those going through physical therapy or rehabilitation.

The reformer “improves body alignment better than work on the mat; can elevate your mat workout to a new level (and increase muscle mass) by adding resistance with pulleys and springs; also adds more range of motion to help you get more results from each exercise.”

Advanced users can increase the intensity of their workouts with the multiple resistance settings and height elevations available on the reformer.

3) Move beyond Pilates to strength training and cardio

On a Pilates Reformer, like the Pilates Power Gym Pro, you can move beyond Pilates exercises and also do strength training and cardio.

“All of those straps, ropes and pulleys combine to provide resistance, build strength and flexibility and help align your body while doing Pilates,” says Celebrity Pilates Instructor, Kristin McGee.

With the use of the cardio rebounder attachment, you can also add an aerobic element to your Pilates workout while lying down.

Pilates reformers are now easily affordable and portable so that you can bring Pilates into the comfort of your own home. When you combine traditional strength training with the calming influence of Pilates movements on a reformer, you’ve got a winning combination. No need for a mat! A mini reformer allows you to customize the resistance and intensity to your fitness level for a more personalized workout. – T.Y.

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Top 5 reasons to do Pilates

Top 5 reasons to do Pilates

“I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.” – Joseph Pilates

Everyone’s talking about Pilates these days, especially in Hollywood! We hear celebrities raving on a daily basis about their Pilates workout. Stars ranging from Kate Hudson to Jennifer Aniston to Sofia Vergara are eager to express their love of Pilates.

But why is Pilates such a favorite of the hottest stars who could choose any type of exercise workout to do? Here are five reasons why:

1) QUICK – It takes as little as 10 minutes a day to start reaping the physical rewards of Pilates. Since Pilates is helpful in targeting specific muscle groups, only a few repetitions of each movement can make a huge difference. You’d be surprised how many different exercises you can do in such a short span of time. That’s why many Pilates instructors offer 10-minute classes. Of course, a longer workout of 20 or more minutes is beneficial as well, but with Pilates, it only takes a few repeated movements to start feeling your muscles getting a workout.

2) LOW IMPACT – When we think of traditional exercise, high intensity activities like aerobics or jogging come to mind. Fortunately, Pilates offers an intense muscular workout with virtually no jumping up and down or running. This may explain why Pilates is so appealing for pregnant women and new mothers. Actress Kristen Bell explains that Pilates is “all about core strength, I can do it at home and it doesn’t require much sweating. (Sweating means showering, which is not at the top of the New Mom Priority List.)” The fluidity of motion and precision of exercises that Pilates requires translates into a gentle low-impact workout which you can do sitting or lying down.

3) MINDFUL – Creator of the Pilates method, Joseph Pilates, believed that utilizing mental concentration during your workout was essential. By paying full attention to your movements, you can maximize the results of each exercise. Pilates stressed the balance of body and mind – “the conscious control of all muscular movements of the body.” Not only can concentration during exercise relax you, but it can also provide medical benefits for the brain.

4) CONVENIENT – Pilates is so convenient because you can do it from the comfort of your own home – no gym required. Performed on a mat or with equipment, Pilates is virtually self-contained because it focuses on controlled muscle movements which don’t involve jumping or running around. Even with equipment like the Pilates Power Gym mini-reformer, you don’t need a lot of floor space and the quiet back and forth motions won’t disturb your neighbors.

5) EFFECTIVE – Probably the most important reason to do Pilates is because it works! Pilates is so popular because it brings great results. “The beautiful thing about Pilates is it gives you that long, lean muscle tone because you’re working with that nice fluid movement and control,” says Pilates and Yoga instructor, Kristin McGee. With repeated practice of Pilates, your muscles will become toned and sculpted. “Muscles you don’t even realize you have you can work with Pilates because you can target and tone specific little muscle groups,” McGee continues. “Pilates is like an inner girdle. It just scoops everything in.” – T.Y.

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Why Pilates is a good workout both mentally and physically

Why Pilates is a good workout both mentally and physically

“The mind, when housed within a healthful body, possesses a glorious sense of power.” – Joseph Pilates

Pilates is a form of exercise that has been growing in popularity for the last 70 years ever since Joseph Pilates wrote his book Return to Life through Contrology in 1945. Pilates is the practice of controlled movements which build strength and improve flexibility throughout the entire body.

Pilates called his method of physical training “contrology” since he believed the conscious mind has the most power in controlling the muscles of the body. In this sense, Pilates is referring to deliberate concentration, as opposed to automatic movements of your body by your subconscious mind.

In his first book, Your Health, published in 1934, Pilates introduced his philosophy behind exercise with the “balance of body and mind” concept. To achieve proper balance of the body and mind neither should be considered more important than the other, but rather the body and mind are equally important to achieve health. “Man should develop his physical condition simultaneously with the development of his mind,” Pilates said.

Pilates believed that deep mental awareness of your breathing, working your core, controlling your movements, fluidity of motion, precision of exercises and being mentally present during your workout were essential to physical health. Exercise without mental concentration, he thought, was literally a waste of time.

With your mind engaged in your workout, Joseph Pilates was convinced that “Contrology correspondingly reawakens thousands and thousands of dormant brain cells, thus activating new areas and stimulating further the functioning of the mind.”

While Pilates may not have had a scientific study to backup his theory, recent research has revealed that concentration does help improve brain function, and regular exercise also has proven benefits for the brain.

As a result, regular Pilates sessions can offer 2 benefits for the price of 1 – a workout not only for your body but also for your mind. No daydreaming allowed. To do Pilates properly, you will be intensely focused on the task at hand – and that is a good thing! – T.Y.

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