Calisthenics for Beginners

Posted by on Dec 26, 2020 in Pilates Exercise

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 vs CARDIO: What works for you?

Posted by on Oct 15, 2020 in Pilates Exercise

Generally, a cardiovascular (cardio) exercise is any exercise or fitness activity that ups your heart rate and gets your heartbeat racing. Cardio exercises involve large muscle movement, working out over a sustained period to keep the heart rate to at least half of its maximum level. Having a strong and healthy cardio-vascular system means that your cells burn more fat for a sustained period, even when you’re inactive. This is because cardio workouts trigger capillaries to deliver more oxygen to the cells in your muscles. Strength training, also known as resistance training, works out the muscles using your own body weight or a tool/item/apparatus that provides resistance, like a dumbbell or weights. The goal is to increase lean muscle mass, which is great when you’re trying to lose weight. That’s because when people are losing weight, they are losing muscles along with it. Resistance training ensures that you retain a healthy level of muscle mass. With Strength Pilates, for instance, think of a body that’s lean and long like a dancer’s instead of bulky and compact like a bodybuilder’s. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity per week. And that strength exercises or resistance training be included in people’s workouts at least twice per week. BIG DISCOUNTS ON PILATES CLASSES IN SINGAPORE How Cardio Exercises Work Cardiovascular exercise is also called aerobic exercise, the purpose of which is to make the heart pump more oxygenated blood and deliver more oxygen to the muscles. Examples of aerobic exercises are those done with cardio machines usually at the gym, or Zumba and aerobics classes. Cardio workouts don’t have to be like the usual workout with the reps and sets. They could be as ordinary as biking, running, swimming, walking, or dancing. Though some people prefer a more structured program like spinning classes, an hour or two on the elliptical machines, or boxing. Overall, improving cardio fitness will make us feel fitter, more active, and less prone to stress. But there’s also a downside to a purely-cardio fitness regimen. It could lead to micro traumas in some parts—like when long-time extreme cyclists develop muscle strains or joint inflammation. For those trying to lose weight, note that high-intensity cardio burns more fat, which is denser than carbohydrate. To burn fat, muscles need more oxygen but when you work out hard and fast, you get more out of breath, so less oxygen reaches the muscles. How Strength Pilates Work What Strength Pilates does is tone your muscles—and reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass, and burn calories efficiently in the process. 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.  Pilates does not over-develop some body parts and under-work...

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5 Surefire Ways to Get Best Results from Pilates

Posted by on Oct 1, 2020 in Pilates Exercise

More than a straightforward workout, Pilates is about achieving mind-and-body harmony, freedom of movement, and a zest for life. It’s an activity not just for the athletically inclined but, dare we say, everyone looking for a path to health, happiness, and new horizons. At Pilates Plus Singapore, it’s not just a matter of taking classes, it’s embarking on a journey to health and joyfulness, with our certified trainers as your guide. To help you get its full benefits, here are five of our pro tips to help get you started, sustain the practice, and discover a passion for Pilates. (1) Be consistent with your movements At the gym, we can be forgiven for not doing our sit-ups or leg raises uniformly as long as we can push ourselves to complete the prescribed number of repetitions. Admit it, sometimes your last reps aren’t as well executed as your first few. Some don’t even get to those last reps at all! But if you want to get the maximum benefit of Pilates then you must perform the workouts in their entirety and go through the motions with as much consistency and fluidity as you can muster. It’s all about taking control over your “rest” and “effort” of every exercise. At the effort stage, we physically and mentally prepare for the exertion, breathing in as our muscles contract. The part where we exhale, rest, and get set for the next repetition is the return phase. The key is to be consistent with the execution of both the effort and rest phases of the workouts. By doing so, you get the maximum benefit of each movement, giving your body the support it needs to come to rest in a safe and correct way. It’s not enough to get up then lay back down on the mat quickly, you have to do it the right way by engaging the targeted muscles, to do it safely. Everything First-Timers Need to Know About Pilates. READ ON! (2) Maintain the proper form at all times In Pilates, each exercise is part of a set that naturally progresses to the next, so it’s important to be in the right form from start to finish. Mindfulness comes into play when you make every movement count—training both body and mind to function optimally. Always engage the specific muscle group that the exercise is targeting. Think of it as both a physical and mental exercise to help you master Pilates naturally over time. If you want to improve your strength and stamina, try holding the last rep on each exercise as long as you can. When you’re standing, pull your shoulders back and let your hands rest against the side of the hips, not the thighs as this causes you to slump. This way, you’re also developing the right posture and elongating your spine—making you look taller and leaner. Be mindful...

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The Ultimate Guide to Pilates Reformer

Posted by on Jul 16, 2020 in Pilates Exercise

What is Pilates Reformer? When talking about Pilates, the first thing that comes to mind is the Pilates Reformer—the bed-like apparatus with tension cables attached. It may look intimidating but the Reformer is no more difficult to use than the usual equipment in most gyms in Singapore. At Pilates Plus, Reformer workouts are gaining popularity among those who practice Pilates for weight loss, strength training, and resistance building. The Reformer was invented in the late 1800s by Joseph Pilates, who sparked the global Pilates movement. It was initially called the Universal Reformer, one of 12 original devices Pilates designed to help soldiers injured in the war. The bedframe-like platform is called the carriage, which is mounted on wheels that roll back and forth. There are cables and bars attached to the platform, with the overall design intended to provide full-body resistance during exercise. When you pull the cables with your arms and push the bars with your legs, your muscles extend to the fullest position. The Reformer lets you move your body, executing a full range of motion that you usually can’t do on your own, or by using a single equipment. Note, however, that you’ll need an instructor to guide you through the proper movements and breathing, which is essential to Pilates. Without proper guidance, there’s a risk of unduly straining the muscles, and you’re likely to fall back into your old movement patterns. TAP HERE to learn more about the Philosophy of Classical Pilates Pilates Reformer Exercise—what can it do for you? Pilates Reformer is an excellent workout for your core—the body’s powerhouse comprising the abs, lower back, hips, and glutes. At the same time, the exercises target the arms and legs (remember those cables you need to pull and bars you need to push on?) Using the Reformer regularly trains you to develop proper body mechanics and adapt to a full range of motion. And while Mat Pilates does include exercises that work the legs and arms, they’re usually done with no resistance unless you’re using dumbbells or a Pilates ring. What’s more, Pilates Reformer workouts have more exercise variety than Mat Pilates. In short, you’re getting a more comprehensive workout that tones the muscles, stabilises the joints, enhances flexibility, improves posture, and corrects balance when in motion. More importantly, the resistance that the Reformer provides lets you get results faster. You’ll achieve your fitness goals more quickly by using just one equipment instead of multiple gym machines, too. As your body gets accustomed to the basic movements, you can adjust the springs and the moving carriage to higher levels of resistance. In a month or so, you can expect to move from reclined exercises to workouts that require less contact between the body and the carriage. Want to try out Mat Pilates first? TAP HERE Pilates Reformer Workout—who benefits the most? Since a Pilates Reformer...

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STRENGTH PILATES: The Body-Mind Workout that Helps You Live Your Best Life

Posted by on Jun 30, 2020 in Pilates Exercise

“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… To know how Pilates helped our clients, TAP HERE 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. TAP HERE to get started on your Pilates journey today! 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...

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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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