Ready for a full body home workout that actually sculpts AND strengthens? This no equipment workout by Corpão Fitness has Pilates exercises designed to challenge every inch! Use this workout on its own as a full body at home workout or combine it with your favorite exercises as you like!
Pilates has so many benefits that it's hard to fit them all into one post without it being overwhelming! I'll focus on the main Pilates benefits that most of you will be looking for in a home workout.
Pilates is special because it is a holistic workout; it targets strength, flexibility, alignment, balance and rehabilitation.
Very few workouts out there can do all of this in one session. Even fewer can do it in a low impact way that is accessible to EVERYONE. Pilates really does have something for everyone!
Pilates is particularly good for increasing core strength. The core is essential to ANY exercise or physical movement you do. A stronger core means a stronger, better body.
Contrary to what many think, the core is not just your belly or abdominal muscles but includes other major and minor supporting muscles. Major muscles include the pelvic floor (below belly button, think "bathroom muscles"), obliques (side abs), diaphragm (used for breathing), erector spinae (muscles along the spine) and transverses abdominis (front and side of abs), multifidus (some of the deep back muscles.) That's a long list right? It's not even complete! There are many minor muscles that are also considered to be a part of the working core or supporting it. You can now see why this area is ESSENTIAL to train if you want to be healthy and fit.
Finally, Pilates is good for strengthening and toning the body without heavy equipment or impact.
Many Pilates exercises are done on the floor and with bodyweight only. This give the joints the opportunity to rest while the muscles work. Most workouts will require heavy impact, standing or other movement patterns that can wear down the joints over time.
To get a taste of Pilates, try my Full Body Pilates Workout at Home here.
Aside from the Pilates benefits already discussed, Pilates is an amazing workout that lets you get more in touch with your body.
Just as in Yoga, Pilates helps you become aware of areas of tension and misalignment. Pilates shows you where your body is compensating incorrectly or being overworked so that you can correct these habits before injury occurs.
Movements in Pilates are very precise and usually done for several repetitions so you become aware of where you aren't as strong or as flexible. Luckily, Pilates has so many modifications and progressions that you can start at any level.
Pilates can also be effective for rehabilitation or for recovering from an injury.
Often we overwork our body through excessive training and everyday movements. It takes time to fix these muscle imbalances and release areas of tension but it is possible to undo the damage with exercises like those in Pilates.
Pilates helps with posture.
If you suffer from hunched shoulder or pain in your lower back or neck, then Pilates could help you strengthen supporting muscles and thereby reduce the stress on these common areas of discomfort. You'll also become more aware of rounded shoulders, arched back and other common posture issues.
Just like Yoga or Barre, Pilates can be done almost anywhere; all you need is a mat! This makes Pilates perfect as a method to maintain your fitness, flexibility and alignment while traveling or while away from the gym.
However, because Pilates is so technical, it's very important that you work with an instructor (online or in-person) for several sessions before attempting to do it on your own.
There is less risk for injury in Pilates (with the more basic moves) but the bigger issue is that you need to know which muscles to activate and how in order for Pilates to be effective. It's a very common misconception that Pilates is easy; often Pilates seems easy because correct form is not being used or the focus is on the wrong muscles.
Be sure to select an instructor or videos that focus heavily on form, technique and breathing in order to get the most out of each Pilates session that you do. If you're newer to Pilates, you may even want to pause and watch each movement a few times before attempting them on your own.
This Full Body Pilates workout at home will show you some of the most common Pilates exercises and how to do them properly! You can also focus on specific areas of the body with this Abs and Glutes Pilates workout or this Arms and Abs Pilates workout.
Another common misconception is that Pilates is just another form of Yoga. While there is definitely overlap between yoga and Pilates, each is a distinct type of training with different focus areas.
While Yoga is a deeper practice focusing on mind and body alignment, Pilates is designed specifically to increase the strength of the core (or powerhouse as it's called.)
Yoga may also involve standing postures while Pilates, for the most part, tends to focus on movements that can be done on the floor, in low impact ways. Because both focus on improving strength, some of the movements will be similar or often "borrowed" between the two practices.
Both Yoga and Pilates focus on breathing techniques, improving balance and posture and increasing flexibility. Yoga tends to go beyond Pilates when it comes to flexibility training while Pilates often goes beyond Yoga when it comes to posture; there is a strong emphasis on correct way of doing things in Pilates, versus the greater freedom often associated with yoga movements.
I often get the question of, "Which is better - Pilates or Yoga?" The answer is both. You should do both. They intertwine nicely and make for a holistic training plan that focuses on many of the important areas that are often neglected in other workouts - flexibility, balance and alignment. Pilates is fantastic for strengthening your core and improving muscle activation while Yoga is amazing for improving balance, mind-body connection and flexibility.
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