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Pilates for a well-toned body

Anjali Sareena, Feb 1, 2013 19:39 IST
Pilates is a mind/body exercise and body-conditioning method with a uniquely precise and intelligent approach that gives you a leaner, suppler, and more toned body.

It is a balanced blend of strength and flexibility training that improves posture, reduces stress and creates long, lean muscles without bulking up. pilates works several muscle groups simultaneously through smooth, continuous motion, with a particular concentration on strengthening and stabilizing the core.

The focus is on quality of movement rather than quantity, which makes one feel invigorated rather than exhausted after a session. Pilates takes a balanced approach so that no muscle group is overworked and the body works as an efficient, holistic system in sport and daily activity.

Pilates exercises can be performed on a mat or on specialized equipment such as a Pilates Reformer, Cadillac and Barrel. While women work with pilates to achieve a sculpted and lean body, pilates for men focuses on a well balanced masculine aesthetic. The exercises are performed with more resistance to build muscle tissues and prevent injuries. Committed practice of pilates also helps in gaining explosive strength, improving range of motion and flexibility, building stamina and boosting energy.

Pilates trains seven key physical performance factors including posture, balance, stability, flexibility, coordination, endurance and functional strength. Although strength training is crucial, stretching the muscles to build longer, more agile muscles is important as well - especially to functional daily activities.

Pilates is a viable cross-training workout for those who need to “balance things out.”
It can also provide an interesting fitness alternative for those who want to avoid gymming. Pilates is a true mind/body discipline that demands total mental and physical concentration as it works the entire body so that muscle balance, symmetry, and core stability are challenged with every workout. Use pilates to program and condition your core muscles so that you can see better gains in the weight-room or while engaging in your favourite sport.

The pilates program at The Zone is conducted on the reformer machines. The sessions are conducted only by appointment and have two to three individuals working with one instructor. This allows for personalized attention to the individual’s specific needs. The program is tremendously popular with men and women of varied backgrounds, fitness levels and specific needs. Reasons for its success range from the ‘feel-good’ factor, to improvements in energy, to relief from back and neck pain, to greater strength and flexibility, to a sculpted toned look.

Benefits

With regular committed pilates workouts you can expect to:

- Improve strength, flexibility and balance
- Challenge deep abdominal muscles to support the core
- Condition efficient patterns of movement making the body less prone to injury
- Reduce stress, relieve tension, boost energy through deep stretching
- Restore postural alignment
- Create a stronger, more flexible spine
- Promote recovery from strain or injury
- Heighten neuromuscular coordination
- Correct over-training of muscle groups which can lead to stress and injury
- Enhance mobility, agility and stamina
- Compliment sports training and develop functional fitness for daily life activity
- Improve the way your body looks and feels

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