Pilates were first invented in the 1920s after the First World War by Joseph Pilates, a German physical fitness specialist, with the aim of rehabilitating soldiers who had suffered injuries during the war. Like yoga, Pilates can seem to be a magical treatment to improve your health and overall wellbeing, as they both focus on your breathing and stylish looking movements of the body.
The following are the best three Pilates moves that you can regularly practice at home in order to get the full health benefits that pilates have to offer.
1. The Hundred
The hundred is a pilates move that warms the lungs and the body, increasing the strength of your core in the process.
With your body flat on its back, in an extended tabletop position, put your legs straight, a little into the air as if a bench has been placed under for them to rest. Bend your legs at the knees and move them upward until your knees are above your hips, then place the lower part of your leg at right angles, while your arms are placed straight by your sides.
Lift your chin towards your chest, and your arms off the ground a little distance, after you have taken in a deep breathe, then straighten and lower your legs until they are only a short distance from the floor. Shake your arms rapidly up and down five times without touching the ground, on each inhale and exhale.
Repeat the entire process ten times.
2. The roll up
The roll up stretches the muscles of the lower part of your legs (the hamstrings), while also extending and flexing the lower part of your back. The spine is also realigned to its original position, while the muscles of the abdomen are strengthened.
It is done by first lying on your back, with your hands laid wide apart above your head and your knees closed together. Move those arms above you now into the air, and forward until they touch your legs. Breathe in slowly as you lift your head towards your chest and raise your arms from your legs up into the air, as you flex your feet.
Breathe out as you slowly lift your upper body up and move it forward, until you are trying to touch your knees with your forehead and your chin bent downwards touching your chest. Your arms should be adjusted to keep them directly lifted forward from the shoulders as you are making this move.
Breathe in as you go back down, and as your chin is still towards and touching your chest and the muscles of your abdomen contracted, while your legs are still resting on the floor.
Go back down very slowly indeed and repeat the entire process again.
3. Single leg stretch
The single leg stretch teaches the muscles of your abdomen to be able to control movements more effectively, and it increases the flexibility of the lower leg muscles and upper back. Your body trunk and pelvis are also stabilized by this exercise.
Start by breathing in when lying flat on the floor, then lifting your right leg a short distance from the floor as you turn your head downwards to touch your chin to your chest.
Bend the knee of the other left leg towards your chest, as you lift your shoulders from the ground slightly. Place your right hand on top of the shin of the raised left leg, then place your left hand below the right hand on the shin, (all with your elbows out), as you breathe out percussively, bring in the knee ever closer to your chest with each little breathing out.
Breathe in as you drop that leg to just above the ground and lift the knee of the other leg to do the same thing. Use the muscles of your abdomen to keep you on the floor while stabling the lower part of your trunk. Lengthen the toes and repeat the process five times for each leg, and when you are finally good at it, twelve times for each leg.
Image Courtesy by: demandstudios.com