TargetWoman - Portal for Women
TargetWoman - Directory for Woman

Pilates Exercise

TargetWoman is a directory/portal dedicated to Women - Articles of lasting value from Hair styles to liposuction, from working women to fashion jewellery and a handpicked listing of sites of importance to women.
Search from our Articles

Print  Book mark this  Read this later  Send this  Browse by Topic 

Pilates exercise was the brainchild of Joseph H. Pilates. During the First World War, he observed in an English hospital that the injured and bedridden soldiers could not exercise. So he created a machine and designed a method of exercise, which would assist the soldiers in rehabilitation, to help them get stronger and regain their strength. Pilates is also an acronym - Proximal Integrating Latent Agile Toning Exercise System. In 1926, Joseph Pilates moved to New York and brought along this method of exercise, which he termed 'Pilates'.

In 1945, Joseph Pilates published Return to Life through Contrology, which described his philosophical approach to exercise. Soon, some of his students began opening studios of their own and made subtle adaptations to the method and this led to the popularity of this exercise pattern. Pilates are followed by millions worldwide, from ballet schools to local gyms. Celebrity followers of the Pilates philosophy are Martina Navratilova, Sharon stone, Pat Cash and Jennifer Aniston. Find out how the Pilates exercise system works and some of the equipment that is used to add another dimension to the process.


Goal of Pilates

Pilates emphasize body alignment and correct breathing while focusing on the lower and deeper abdominals on the one hand and the mid-back and part of the shoulder muscles on the other. The ultimate goal of Pilates is to provide an understanding of postural alignment during movement of the human body in the three dimensional planes. Controlled movements, proper biomechanics and flow of movement help in achieving this. Pilates works by combining breathing techniques with special stretches.

It is more dynamic than Yoga because it pushes the body through stretching and targets flexibility, posture and strength. By using the Pilates machine, individuals have to go through systematic and natural movements, whilst holding their torsos in place and moving their limbs in different directions. This movement strengthens the individual's balance and flexibility


Some simple Pilates exercises

The Ballerina Arms


1. Sit cross-legged
2. Straighten the spine as though resting against a wall
3. Bend the elbows at a 90 degree angle to protect the shoulder in its socket
4. Take the arms back to connect the shoulder blades
5. Take the arms down so the shoulder blades slide down your spine
6. Raise the bent arms above your head
7. End with arms as first started in front of you


The Roll Up

1. Lie on your back with legs straight and arms stretched above your head and shoulders down.
2. Keeping your back flat on the floor, slowly lift your arms toward the ceiling as you breathe in.
3. As you breathe out, slowly roll forward, peeling your spine off the mat. head remains straight; eyes focused forward and stomach remains taut, not crunched.
4. Breathing in again, stretch out over your legs. Breathing out, slowly roll back down to the floor.
5. Do not pause, but as you breathe in roll up again and begin the second repetition. Do 10 repetitions.


Benefits of Pilates

Pilates are gentle and very effective and condition the body from head to toe with a new approach suitable for all ages and abilities. Pilates is an ideal workout for athletes recovering from injury, pregnant women and older people who may not have the capacity to do strenuous exercise. It requires patience and practice. Listed below are some important benefits of Pilates:

  • Assists in aligning your body

  • Engages the mind and enhances body awareness

  • Tones and builds long lean muscles without bulk.

  • Helps in rehabilitation of injuries and strains

  • Reduces stress, relieves tension and boosts energy through deep stretching.

  • Targets the abdominal area.

  • Enhances mobility, agility and stamina

  • When modified, Pilates are ideal for pregnant women

  • Brings about weight loss

  • Improves overall well-being

  • Increases energy levels.

  • Offers relief from back pain and joint stress.

  • Improves strength, flexibility and balance.

Pilates Equipment

Pilates exercises can be performed on a mat on the floor. There are a few specialized Pilates equipment and smaller accessories that can add a whole new level of interest and intensity to the Pilates exercise schedule. Some Pilates equipment offer spring resistance whilst others offer support. A variety of unique exercises for the total body can be performed on each piece. The main Pilates equipment pieces are discussed below:


Pilates Ball

Pilate Ball is also known as Swiss Ball, Stability Ball, Gym Ball or Fit Ball. The round shell of a sphere is an unstable surface, so when we lie, sit or lean on it, we need to continually rebalance ourselves. These subtle steadying adjustments help isolate and activate the deepest muscle layers in the body. This tool helps:


  • Establish and reinforce balance

  • Activate deep abdominals

  • Develop postural alignment

  • Support and stretch the body

The larger inflatable Pilates balls come in 55 cm, 65 cm and 75 cm diameters to accommodate a range of body sizes. They cost around $25 to $40 and are available at almost any general fitness store.


Pilates Resistance Band

The Pilates Resistance Band is also known as the Flex-Band or Thera-Band. It is simply a stretchy strip of latex that adds an element of light resistance to a Pilates workout. This tool helps to:

  • Lengthen major muscles

  • Target the upper and lower body

  • Improve flexibility

  • Enhance joint mobility

The Pilates Resistance Band is versatile and can be used for stretching, toning and sculpting from ankle to wrist. It is also economical and portable. The cost of the band ranges from $5 to $10 depending on the strength of resistance


Pilates Chair

Resembling a stylish little stool, the Pilates Chair is a versatile exercise machine. Pilates exercises are performed seated on top and pressing down on the step/pedal with feet. Other exercises entail lying on the floor, standing straight up, lunging forward or doing push-up like moves with the arms. More than 75 exercises can be performed on the Chair. The price of a basic Pilates Chair starts at around $700 upwards to $1200 and beyond, depending on the make and model.

The other Pilates exercise equipments available are


  • Pilates Cadillac

  • Pilates Combos

  • Pilates Ladder Barrel

  • Pilates Arc Barrel

  • Pilates Spine Corrector

  • Pilates Spine Supporter

  • Pilates Props

  • Pilates Circles

More on Women's Diet and Fitness Women Fitness
Posture Correction - Foundation for healthy functioning ...
Qigong Exercises - Align breath and movement ...
Five Tibetan Rites - Energize your chakras ...
Piloxing Workout - Fat busting, body sculpting ...
Calisthenics - Using body resistance ...
Karate For Women - Fight with bare hands ...
Self Defense for Women - Defend against assailants ...
Krav Maga - Israeli self defense method ...
Circuit Training - One-stop exercise regimen ...
Interval Training - High intensity workout ...
Hybrid Workouts - Increase strength, build endurance ...
Barre Workout - Ballerina style ...
Eskrima Workout - Skill and agility ...
Learn Tai Chi - Moving meditation and slow graceful movements ...
Indoor Rock Climbing - Look-alike mountain structures ...
Reducing Body Fat Percentage - Assess body fat composition ...
Fat Burning Zone - Maximize fat oxidation ...
PACE Progressively Accelerating Cardiopulmonary Exertion - Interval training with a difference ...
Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis - Move more ...

Women Fitness
Morning Exercise and Metabolism - Find calm and get energized ...
Choosing Fitness Center - Make the right fitness choice ...
Fitness Center for Women - Slim down and tone up ...
Fitness Weight Loss in women - Loss of inches ...
Home Fitness Equipment - FTC guidelines on exercise equipment ...
Kid Fitness - Catch 'em young ...
Gym Safety Tips - Safety during workouts ...
Building Lean Muscle - Well sculpted, and toned physique ...
HIIT - Short intense bursts of exercise ...
Lose Belly Fat - Bad for body and self image ...
Flat Belly Tips - Washboard stomach ...

Exercises for Women Exercises for Women
Toned Arms for Females - Shapely sculpted arm ...
How to lose Muffin Top - Fat around and above the waist line ...
Plyometric Exercises - High intensity exercise ...
Flexibility Exercise Program - Feel stretch but not pain ...
Belly Bloat - Sculpt your middle ...
Body Sculpting Exercises - Toning muscles with resistance ...
Core Strengthening Exercises - Powerhouse muscles ...
Exercise for Seniors - Feel healthy, feel confident ...
Fitness Exercise Articles - Women's Fitness from isometrics to Yoga ...
Anti Aging Exercise - Keeping fit, physically and mentally ...
Rebounder Exercise - Cellular exercise ...
Jogging Exercise - Jog your way to fitness ...
Flat Stomach Exercise - Get a toned-up middle ...
Knee Exercise - Bend them right to keep them in shape ...
Butt Exercise - For a well-toned and attractive butt ...
Weight Exercises for Women - Weights for strength ...
Chest Exercise for Women - Sculpt your bust with exercises ...
Stretching Exercise - Feel the stretch ...
Lower Back Exercise - Pillar of strength and vigor ...
Hip Exercises - Flexibility, stability and balance ...
Leg Exercise - Tone up the leg muscles ...
Abdominal Exercise - Exercise your abdomen for a shapely figure ...
Face Exercises Benefits - How to keep your face healthy and glowing ...
Double Chin Exercise - Sculpt your jaw line ...
Eye Exercise Benefit - Protect your most treasured sense organ ...
Thigh Exercises - Give yourself thighs that you can be proud of ...
Stair Climbing Exercise - Climb your way to fitness ...
Isometric Exercise - Learn more about this strength training routine ...
Pilates Exercise - Improve body alignment and flexibility ...
Rotator Cuff Exercises - Strengthen muscles of shoulder joint and blade ...
Arm Exercise - Well-toned arms ...
Kegel Exercises for Women - Improve urethral and pelvic floor muscles ...
Carpal Tunnel Exercises - Prevent injury to the wrist bone ...

Exercise Equipment
Xiser Workout - Short bursting exercises ...
Foam Rolling Exercises - Iron out the kinks
Rowing Exercise Machine - Target major muscle groups ...
Elliptical Machine Benefits - Burn more calories in less time ...
Stepper Exercise Machine - Power packed aerobic trainer ...
Dumbbell Exercise - Improve bone strength...
Weight Loss Calculator - Count those calories ...
Strapless Heart Rate Monitor - Measure your pulse rate ...
Home Exercise Equipment - Selecting the right home exercise equipment ...
Recumbent Exercise Bike - Pedal your way to a fitter you ...
Resistance Exercise Band - Resistance exercise ...
Weight Lifting Exercise - Keep heart disease,obesity and back pain at bay ...

Ball Exercise
Kettlebell Exercises - Used as hand weights ...
Medicine Ball Exercises - Strength training prop ...
Swiss Exercise Ball - Engage more muscles ...
Kamagon Ball Workouts - Engage more muscles ...
Pilates Exercise


RSS feed on Exercise
Pilates Exercise