Calisthenics for Beginners

Posted by on Dec 26, 2020 in Blogs

Date Updated: December 26, 2020 What is Calisthenics Known also as bodyweight training, these are exercises that are done using mostly your own bodyweight or minimal equipment. If you’ve ever taken up any kind of workout, then chances are you’ve done some form of callisthenics or other, like pushups, squats, and crunches. These days you won’t see many Singapore gyms offering callisthenics classes straight up as they’re not as trendy as the likes of HIIT, Functional Training, or boxing. What many people don’t know is that callisthenicss conditioning exercises are a great way to build the strength and stamina needed for high-intensity complex movements. Callisthenics is the perfect workout for people who are only starting to get into a fitness regimen. At Pilates Plus, in particular, we recommend callisthenics as a complementary class to our Pilates for Beginners sessions. No special skills are required to perform these exercises, and they can be adjusted easily to your strength and fitness levels. What’s more, once you’ve learned how to do them properly, you can do callisthenics just about anywhere, anytime. Callisthenics Benefits If your goal is to develop muscle mass like that of a bodybuilder, then callisthenics is a good supplementary exercise for weight training, which should be your main workout. But if you’re aiming for a limber and toned physique, then callisthenics would suit you fine. Callisthenics exercises help you build a fit and strong upper and lower body, and core. With these simple and natural movements, you’ll be able to:  Improve your flexibility Enhance your range of motion Maintain good form Develop your aerobic capacity Tone and strengthen your muscles Gain flexibility on your hips and lower body Get in shape or cross-train for a sport/competition Step-by-Step Guide to Calisthenics Although it’s ideal for beginners, callisthenicscalisthenics are a go-to complementary workout for seasoned gym-goers, bodybuilders, and exercise buffs. That’s because these exercises are an effective way to work out your entire body, improve strength, stability, and mobility to help you perform better not just in your sport or workout of choice but in your daily tasks and everyday routine. EXECISE TYPE HOW TO DO IT WHERE IT WORKS Pushups Get down on all fours but place your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Extend your legs and hold your body up into plank position using your arms. Lower your body until your chest is nearly touching the floor. Pause, push yourself back up, and repeat. torso—pectorals, triceps, anterior deltoid Squats Stand up straight with your toes facing forward, but place your feet slightly wider than the hips. Clasp your hands over your chest for balance and thrust your hips backwards. Then bend your knees and go down as low as you can while keeping your back in a neutral position. thighs/quadriceps Bench Dips Sit down on a stable bench with your hands placed next to your thighs. Extend your...

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Pilates Fitness for Work-Life Balance in the New Normal

Posted by on Dec 1, 2020 in Blogs, Pilates Benefits

The Pilates fitness approach emerged around 100 years ago, but its principles and benefits remain relevant in today’s new normal. Joseph H. Pilates came up with a series of exercises to help injured soldiers manage their pain and restore their range of movement. This was in the early 1900s, while he was interning at a camp for Germans. He called his approach to full-body conditioning Contrology and the rest, as they say, is Pilates history. What few people probably know is that in 1918, the Spanish flu struck and left around 50 million people dead, many between the ages of 20 and 40. Curiously enough, Joseph and everyone else who trained in Contrology was spared from the virus. It’s also interesting that they, the first-ever practitioners of Pilates, were practically quarantined inside the camp during the pandemic. While it has been a hundred years and we’re no doubt experiencing an entirely different virus,, the context is actually rather similar to what we’re facing today. Joseph believed that most health problems in his time were due to a “modern lifestyle” that is  not much different from today’s sedentary and stress-ridden new normal. These days, we’re all still trying to cope with our changed realities, and it’s become harder to strike a work-life balance. With this blog, we at Pilates Plus Singapore would like to encourage everyone to rebuild the work-life balance that was lost to quarantine and work-from-home arrangements. We’ve prepared some helpful tips on how to adjust and adapt while reducing stress, maximising productivity, and achieving overall body-mind balance through Pilates. Pilates Classes | Attain Physical and Psychological Wellness with Pilates Amidst the Pandemic Make a schedule and stick to it. The work-from-home setup can be a double-edged sword. Some people get to work more now that there’s no travel time, while others tend to procrastinate, with the distractions of working from the comforts of home. But working from home does not mean we’re expected to work 24/7, neither does it mean taking advantage of our flexible working hours to slack off.  Whether it’s a temporary or permanent arrangement, remote work should be conducted with professionalism. The same professionalism we’d exhibit when we show up  to an office building with our co-workers and bosses, IRL. So, it’s crucial to set a regular daily work schedule, condition ourselves to focus on tasks within that schedule and make a habit of it until it sticks.  Set boundaries and respect them. Just because people are always online doesn’t mean it’s okay to chat them up anytime. Like it or not, checking emails at the breakfast table eats into family time or me-time. Yes, we’re working from home, but if we’re still at it late into the night or during the weekend, it’s not exactly time well spent. So, send a clear message that your day is done. Turn off work notifications on...

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Take Your Workout Up a Notch with Dynamic Pilates

Posted by on Dec 9, 2019 in Blogs

Take Your Workout Up a Notch with Dynamic Pilates

  HomeBlogs   If you’re into intense, blood-pumping workouts then Pilates may not exactly be the first thing that comes to mind. So you’d probably be be surprised to learn about Dynamic Pilates, which (in a nutshell) is the “faster and fiercer” version of Classical Pilates. However, it’s still consistent with the Pilates principles of restoring the body’s natural balance; building strength and flexibility; and preventing or reducing injury. What’s more, many of our clients here at Pilates Plus Singapore find that this version of Pilates helps them slim down, have better posture, and get lean, toned muscles faster, especially with regular, thrice-weekly workouts. Pilates at its Core—and So Much More Dynamic Pilates is similar to classic Pilates in that it features a series of controlled and precise movements meant to re-establish your natural balance. Dynamic pinpoints the waist’s and lower back’s core muscles, which provide support for your entire body. Both Dynamic and traditional routines likewise feature a lot of stretching. Dynamic Pilates, however, puts a lot of emphasis on improving posture and developing toned muscles in a short amount of time—hence the high level of high-powered activity. Some routines are a lot like classic Pilates combined with circuit training moves, where other muscle groups as well as the core muscles get a good workout. Anyone who switches from classic to Dynamic is bound to notice how workouts are longer, with each exercise repeated for longer periods to achieve thorough muscle fatigue. Moving the larger muscle groups such as the glutes are also given emphasis to make sure the entire body benefits. Dynamic Mat Pilates Dynamic Mat combines Joseph Pilates’ traditional mat exercises with energetic movements performed at a faster pace. You could say Dynamic incorporates all Six Principles of Movement formulated by Pilates himself: Breath, Concentration, Control, Centering, Precision and Flow, making it more challenging and more fun (if you’re the upbeat type) than classic Pilates.  The real challenge lies in being able to blend each movement into a seamless, continuous whole while exercising your entire body. Exercises during a typical Dynamic Mat class include: Abdominal series Kneeling Leg circles Planking, front leg pulls, push-ups, stars, side bends, twists, side kicks Quadrupeds Rolling like a ball, seal rolls, boomerangs and open leg rockers Roll overs, control balances, corkscrews, jack knifes Roll ups Saws Single leg and shoulder bridging Spine twists and stretches Standing balances, squats and roll downs Swan, swimming, and rocking extensions While Mat Pilates generally uses your own body weight, Dynamic Mat Pilates may also add the use of other exercise equipment such as flex bands, foam rollers, hand weights and mini stability balls.  Dynamic Reformer Pilates To take your workout to the next level after the next level, Dynamic Pilates can be done on a Reformer, which is a special apparatus used for Pilates exercises. This apparatus, which looks a lot like a bed...

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Too Busy To Stay Fit? Try These Exercises!

Posted by on Apr 29, 2019 in Blogs, Pilates Exercise

It is a weeknight and you’re in your jammies feeling tired, bloated, but wanting desperately to get back into the habit of exercising again. Perhaps you want to get yourself back in the gym but the reason that there’s simply no time. If you’ve found yourself on the couch scrolling through Netflix every night, then you definitely have some time to get a workout! With all the demands of work and family most of us need to get through every day, it is no wonder we have some difficulty sticking with an exercise routine long enough to see results. Often, we just throw our hands up in exasperation and think ‘why bother?’ when really, all it takes is a shift in perspective and one or two lifestyle changes to get us back out there reaching our fitness goals. If you have been living a sedentary lifestyle lately, dismantling the bad habits you picked up – sitting more, moving less – may seem like an uphill battle, but one tiny change three to four times a week can make the task at hand seem less herculean and more of a fun break to your day. Exercise doesn’t have to take up an entire afternoon to be effective and you don’t need fancy clothes or equipment to get back in the saddle, so to speak. Here are four easy ways to get you started on your road to wellness. 1. Walking Walking is, quite simply, the easiest way to get more active. You don’t need special equipment and it can be done anywhere. According to a Harvard health article, walking even at a casual pace of two miles per hour at 5 ½ miles per week reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 31% and the risk of dying by 32%. Walking doesn’t have to be a slog either. If you enjoy window-shopping, walk around the mall a few times. You get the perks of a cardio workout and spend time looking at things you like! If you favor the great outdoors, hit a park near your home or walk around a new neighborhood. Who knows what interesting things you may discover during your stroll? Maybe you find a new café or restaurant you never knew existed but now need to try, or you find quaint, instagrammable buildings you would never have found if you weren’t on foot. The possibilities are endless! 2. Desk stretches and simple body exercises If you’re really pressed for time and need quick midday solutions, why not bring exercise to work? We all need to find fluid and easy movement in our bodies and stretching is a great way to start getting the blood flowing again. Just three to five minutes during your lunch or other breaks can work wonders. Gentle stretches by your desk can keep you limber and give your body more range of...

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