“I’m looking for a workout to make me stronger, but I don’t want to look bulky.” We got this enquiry from Isabelle, a 25-year-old professional. She’s been cooped up at home for months throughout the circuit-breaker period, and it’s made her sluggish.
Sean also asked, “What exercise is okay for senior citizens like me?” He’s a retired corporate executive who’s worried that he’s feeling “kind of stiff and clumsy” now that he’s no longer as active as he used to be.
On the other hand, Nina, 35, is bothered by “(my) bad back. I have these aches almost every day, and it’s stressing me out, especially when I’m in the office.” She’s exhausted by the time she gets home from work.
It may sound like Isabelle, Sean, and Nina have different problems, but they’re all in the same situation: they can’t live life to the fullest. A healthy young adult should be brimming with energy and confidence. Senior citizens should still be able to enjoy life and move with ease. People in their 30s and 40s must keep up their strength, with passion and joy.
We’ve all felt the same way at some point, regardless of age, gender, or lifestyle. So, we figured we’ll share with everyone the one solution to Isabelle’s, Sean’s, and Nina’s problems: Strength Pilates. And here’s why…
1. Strength Pilates Boosts Your Energy and Keeps You Fit
Walking into a Pilates studio could be intimidating, seeing all that equipment, especially the Reformer and Cadillac. At first glance, it looks like only athletes and fitness buffs can pull off the workouts, but that’s just not true.
Pilates is actually a great beginner’s workout, or if it’s your first time to take up an exercise regimen. You can start out at a pace that you’re comfortable with and do basic routines your body is strong enough to move up to the next level.
You can do Strength Pilates on a mat using weights or everyday items around the house like a chair or handy containers filled with water. These are low-impact exercises that work on the back and chest, butt and pelvis, and other core muscles you didn’t know could use a workout.
Unlike weight training, strength-building regimens won’t bulk you up or make you look buff like bodybuilders. What Strength Pilates does is tone your muscles—and reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass, and burn calories efficiently in the process.
So, if you’re like Isabelle, whose primary concern is her low energy levels, or if you just want to be healthier, look fitter, and feel better, then you made the right choice.
2. Strength Pilates Makes You Nimble and Move Easily
If you’re in your senior years like Sean, or you have a health condition that prevents you from doing the usual gym exercises, then Strength Pilates is an option. But first, check with your doctor to make sure it’s safe, and how much exertion your body can take.
It’s a fact of life that as we get older, simple movements like walking, bending down, and reaching up takes more effort. We start to feel more stiffness around the arms, legs, and torso. We’re not as limber as we used to. And balance becomes an issue as we advance in age.
The goal of Strength Pilates is to enhance the body’s flexibility and improve balance, so we can move naturally with ease. It’s especially beneficial for senior citizens who are having trouble keeping steady on their legs or lifting stuff around the house.
The exercises can be adapted to provide gentle strength training, then modified along the way to further improve stability. People who haven’t exercised in a long time or are undergoing physical therapy from past injuries would also benefit.
Studies show that strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week are recommended. Strength Pilates guides us to move with ease and grace and takes us to a state of balance and natural flow—if we can’t move properly, it’s hard to live normally.
3. Strength Pilates Eases Body Pains and Reduces Stress
Many of our clients started taking up Pilates as a remedy to back pain and the usual aches we get from sitting long hours hunched over our desks. People with a mostly sedentary lifestyle get the most tension in the neck, shoulders, chest, and hips.
A lot of it has to do with bad posture, which causes our spine to be misaligned and our back muscles to be twisted. Bad posture crushes the cushioning between the vertebrae and makes breathing erratic, so the brain isn’t getting as much oxygen as it needs.
Strength Pilates focuses on achieving proper postural alignment by gradually challenging the body’s resistance levels and progressively building up endurance. Pilates Plus Singapore’s unique exercise routine runs for six weeks to ensure that maintaining the correct form and proper breathing techniques become a habit among the students.
What’s more, you learn how to tune in to your body and react positively to your thoughts. Remember Nina and her problems with back pain and stress? If you’re going through the same thing, then you’ll benefit from a class that not only strengthens your body but also teaches you mindfulness—focusing on what’s happening at the moment rather than what could go wrong.
When we’re stressed, the tension we feel progresses to pain, which in turn weakens our immune system and slows down our metabolism. To break the cycle, we should learn not only to move correctly but also think properly—and that’s the Pilates philosophy.
With Pilates, the more you train, the better you get at your daily tasks. And as it gets to be a regular practice, body-mind balance will come naturally to you—and that’s crucial in living life to the fullest.
So, whether you’re female or male, younger or older, a workout newbie or a seasoned athlete, Strength Pilates can help. If you’re still not comfortable leaving the house to do the exercises at our studio, we’re offering virtual classes at Pilates Plus Singapore.
We hope to hear from you soon!
We’ve all had time to reflect on the importance of being physically and mentally healthy. Counting the days until the lockdown ends, we’ve resolved to take better care of ourselves. But let’s face it, it’s hard to commit to a fitness program when there’s no tangible result, right?
If you’re looking for a workout not just for the body but also the mind, then Pilates mat exercises are a good start. Aside from whipping you up into shape, Pilates teaches centering, concentration, and control—but how does knowing all that help you IRL? Read on to find out!
Mat Pilates is perfect for beginners because the reps can be adjusted to your physical capability. Plus, you’ll only need a mat, some floor space, and everyday items you can use as exercise aids.
It involves floor workouts that build body strength and activate the brain’s stress-busting functions. With Pilates’ emphasis on the body/mind connection, it’s easier to grasp how toning, flexibility, coordination, and focus come together to make life easier…and just happier!
So, let’s cut to the chase and tell you exactly how Pilates mat exercises can make you look great simply because you feel so good!
1. Burns Fat and Calories
Flabby abs, chubby arms and legs, bulky hips and backsides…these are why most of us are driven to exercise. Luckily for us, Pilates mat exercises target the body’s powerhouse—abdominal and lower back muscles, glutes, hips, and pelvic floor.
While strengthening the body’s core is the goal of Pilates mat exercises, you’ll most likely burn off calories and shed excess pounds in the process. But if you want to lose weight fast, then you might want to take up running, swimming, and other cardio workouts on top of Pilates.
Traditional Pilates was designed as a low-impact workout meant to build up strength gradually. Although, research shows it’s also effective in lowering BMI and calorie count, and results in a slimmer waist, flatter abs, and leaner hips too.
Picture this: if you weigh about 150lbs and you’re doing beginner Pilates mat classes for 50 minutes, then you’ll shed about 175 calories. Our muscles continue burning off calories even after working out so, the longer you’re at it, the stronger and shapelier you get.
2. Makes You Look Taller
We wear heels and elevator shoes to look taller because…why not? Doesn’t hurt to add a few centimeters to your height, right? In fact, Miss World 2003 Rosanna Davison credits Pilates for making her half-an-inch taller.
Well, Pilates can’t make you grow actually but, with all that stretching, your spine becomes more aligned, back muscles are elongated, and the cushioning between the vertebrae gets more room to breathe.
Pilates may not be able to lengthen your bones but it will correct your posture with consistent practice. These days it’s normal to spend long hours sitting at our desks or hunched over phones and tablets, which ruin our posture and make us look shorter.
As you move from beginner to master class, you’ll notice that you’re standing straighter and looking leaner. And with no help from stilettos or height-adding insoles, too!
3. Gets Rid of Stiffness
Getting up from bed, bending to put on shoes, reaching for stuff, walking…just about everything we do requires flexibility. Like breathing, you don’t think of doing it, it just happens!
Then as you’re getting more of the occasional crick in the neck, backache, or stiffness in the joints, that’s when it hits home: flexibility is crucial to living a normal life. We can’t move well if we’re not flexible, and we can’t live normally if we can’t move.
That’s how Joseph saw it when he created Pilates to help injured soldiers. Pilates guides the body to move with ease and grace. It’s meant to get us to a state of balance and natural flow.
Sadly, our body’s flexibility decreases as we get older and everyday stuff like bending, stretching, or reaching won’t feel as effortless. You can prevent this with Pilates mat exercises, and making stretching part of your daily routine.
4. Helps Strengthen Immunity
If there’s anything we’ve learned from the coronavirus outbreak, it’s that a strong immune system could spell the difference between life and death. We know now that the virus attacks the lungs, that’s why it’s so important to keep them healthy and resilient.
Aside from not smoking and not exposing yourself to pollution, there are other things you can do to make your lungs stronger, like Pilates. But how?
First, the exercises correct posture, so the diaphragm can contract and relax the way it should. Second, Pilates teaches breathing techniques that get oxygen circulating, so our body can function better and heal faster.
Remember, the diaphragm is a muscle, and it’s just as important to work it out like you would your biceps. We’re not supposed to take shallow breaths, we just get used to it, which means our lungs aren’t operating at 100%.
Pilates teaches us to breathe properly and, in the process, become more aware of how our body works, and more responsive to the health alerts it’s sending.
5. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
We get the most tension in the neck, shoulders, chest, and hips. When we’re stressed, this tension goes from discomfort to pain, which makes us even more stressed. To break the cycle, we should learn to move and think properly—and that’s the Pilates philosophy.
At mat class, you’re taught how to tune in to your body and react positively to your thoughts. Pilates trains you to concentrate on what’s happening in the moment rather than what could go wrong. And that’s what mindfulness is all about.
Think about it: you’re less likely to get sick if you’re doing strength-building Pilates mat exercises regularly. The more you train, the better you get at your daily tasks.
And as Pilates gets to be a regular practice, mind-body balance will come naturally to you—and that’s crucial in living life to the fullest.
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The long hours behind your desk are causing backaches, and it’s affecting your productivity. You’re in constant discomfort, which sometimes leads to stress and anxiety. If you’ve caught yourself nodding, then your habits and routines must be taking their toll.
And now you’re ready to take that first step toward a healthy work-life balance but aren’t sure where to start. You’ve thought about hitting the gym or taking up a sport. But you feel these activities just aren’t for you, and you’re worried that you might not be able to sustain the habit.
So, what else is there? To go from sedentary to master of your own mind and body, Pilates teaches you how to:
Manage your body, and mobilise your energy.
Overcome your limitations, and optimise your productivity.
Validate your needs, and visualise your joy.
Explore a new experience, and enrich your life.
Why Take Classes at Pilates Plus Singapore
What Pilates Can Do For You
Pilates is a versatile fitness program that appeals to beginners and seasoned fitness buffs alike. The idea of Mr. Pilates’ 34-sequence method is such that it progressively warms the body up, challenges it with exertion, and then cools it down. Its benefits include:
· Enhanced core strength
· Improved posture
· Better balance
· More flexibility
· Increased muscle tone
· Healthier joints/ligaments
· Aids in weight loss
· Added stamina/energy
· Optimised breathing
· Body-mind harmony
Learn more: The History of Pilates
Various Types of Pilates
Pilates is an approach to conditioning developed over a hundred years ago by its founder Joseph H. Pilates, who first called it “contrology.” Pilates has undergone transitions over the years but maintains its core principles of breathing, control, centering, and flow. Here are some common types of Pilates to help you find one that works best for you:
Mr. Pilates first coined the term contrology to describe his sequence of 34 exercises—each flowing to the next in purposeful succession. Each exercise is executed in the exact sequence, in the designated number of repetitions (usually no more than six reps), before moving on to the next exercise. This type of Pilates may also involve the use of equipment.
Pilates Mat Exercises
Mat exercises are a good introduction to the world of Pilates. These are low-impact exercises that may involve the use of weights, balls, therabands, or rings. However, the movements are still based on the traditional Pilates system. First-timers and people suffering from back pain will benefit most from mat exercises because it focuses on strengthening the core.
This type of Pilates utilises an equipment called the Reformer, which looks like a bed frame with tension apparatus attached to it. The movements here are similar to mat Pilates but more challenging, given the added resistance from the various springs, straps, and ropes. As such, you burn more calories and build up more muscle strength.
As the name implies, this is a modern take on the classical system of Pilates. The exercises here are founded on contemporary research, including modern approaches to motor learning, rehabilitation, and biomechanics training. The movements are taught differently, depending on the instructor.
Stott Pilates was created in 1998 by Moira Stott-Merrithew, a former dancer. The exercises have sequences and movements that differ from the classical version. In traditional Pilates, the spine is pressed to the floor but in Stott’s version, the lower back is kept off the floor, maintaining the natural curvature.
Read more: The Traditional Joseph Pilates Program
Myths About Pilates
If you’re new to Pilates, chances are you’ve read a few misconceptions about it. So, let’s clear the air and give you the facts straight out to help you make an informed decision before signing up for a class. Here are some of the myths that could be holding you back:
Pilates is Just Another Form of Yoga
Pilates and yoga both work on building body strength, alignment, and flexibility but they are not one and the same thing. Though some poses look similar to yoga, Pilates uses different movement and breathing techniques that achieve different results. More importantly, yoga is limited to mat exercises while Pilates makes use of both mat and specialised equipment.
Pilates is Only for Fit and Young People
People of all ages and levels of stamina can benefit from Pilates—even if you think you’re not athletic! People who aren’t interested in the usual gym exercises may find Pilates more engaging since classes are offered in varying degrees of physical capacity. It’s designed in such a way that you can go from newbie to advanced practitioner with regular practice.
Pilates is For Women Only
Most men do gym workouts and weights to build up their core and develop their muscles, which is exactly what Pilates is all about. Men and women alike use Pilates as cross training for all kinds of sporting activities, even extreme sports. In fact, founder Joseph Pilates originally designed this fitness regimen to rehabilitate soldiers who were injured in the war. [Read more: Why Pilates is a Good Workout for Men
Pilates is Just Another Weight-Loss Program
Yes, the exercises help keep the weight off and stabilise your metabolism but Pilates does more than that. Aside from being a workout, Pilates is about achieving mind-and-body harmony, freedom of movement, and a zest for life. Complemented with dietary and mental health guidance, Pilates can be a path to health, happiness, and new horizons.
Pilates Classes Are Too Expensive
Imagine signing up for gym membership and finding that the fees don’t include personal training services. So, you’re left to your own devices, figuring out for yourself what exercises to do and how to use the equipment…that’s money down the drain. With Pilates, an instructor is always on hand to guide, motivate, and advise you. Now that’s added value!
Promos, rates, and schedules that suit your best
At Pilates Plus Singapore, it’s not just a matter of taking classes, it’s about embarking on a journey to health and joyfulness, with our certified trainers as your guide. For us, Pilates is not just a profession but a passion. We’ve made our rates cost-efficient and relatively affordable because we want everyone to have the same life-changing experience that we do with Pilates.
With more than 10 years of experience, we can help you understand how your body works, why your movements affect your mindset, and what exactly Pilates can do to perform daily tasks with renewed energy and positivity. So, sign up now for your TRIAL SESSIONS to test the waters. We’d love to hear from you today!