Fitness, Health

Pilates workout machine

Pilates is becoming such a popular way of getting fit that the number of accessories and pieces of equipment increase each year. Pilates hits your core (or, in Pilates speak, your “powerhouse”) unlike any other workout. In fact, after completing 36 weeks of Pilates training, women strengthened their rectus abdominis (the muscle responsible for six-packs) by an average of 21 percent, while eliminating muscle imbalances between the right and left sides of their cores, according to a Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study.

Benefits of Pilates

A stronger core equals a better back, says Tracy Zindell, Flex Pilates Chicago founder and master instructor. That’s why those with chronic lower back pain who practiced Pilates for just four weeks experienced more relief than those who visited a physician and other specialists, says a Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy study. What’s more, their pain stayed away for a full year post-Pilates. Researchers believe that by stabilizing the core’s lumbar-pelvic (lower-back) region, Pilates alleviates stress on the area and ups mobility.

Its easy on your joints: Pilates’ slow and controlled movements puts minimal impact on your joints. Bonus if you’re using the Pilates reformer: “The padding on a Pilates reformer is as thick as 10 yoga mats,” says Zindell. “It takes the pressure off of your back and knees.”

Pilates hones your focus:Pilates urges you to focus on 1) your breath, 2) your body, and 3) how they move together. It takes a lot of concentration, says Zindell. “You can’t zone out.” That means you’re forced to forget about work, bills, boyfriends, and other drama for a full hour. Ahh.

Pilates improves your sport performances:“When you start focusing on your core, you realize that all of your muscles are connected through your core. Try doing lunges without your abdominals. You’ll crumble over,” says Zindel, who has trained everyday athletes and professional ones including Chicago Bulls player Joakim Noah. “With a stronger core, you can run faster, your yoga is on point, and overall, the rest of your workouts improve,” she says. Plus, by working in small groups or one-on-one with a Pilates instructor, you can learn moves that mimic and improve performance in your sport of choice.

Pilates makes you more flexible:“I always hear people saying, ‘I’ve never been flexible, I can’t do Pilates.’ But that’s why they should be doing it,” Zindell says. In one Brazilian study, when young women (without any prior Pilates experience) performed 20 Pilates sessions, they became 19.1 percent more flexible. When you’re tight, you shorten your muscle and limit your body’s range of motion, she says. At best, that can hurt your exercise performance. At worst, it can cause injury.

Pilates Boosts Your Brainpower:Joseph Pilates called his workout method “the thinking man’s exercise.” It could very well be. When Chinese researchers measured changes in women’s brain activity after 10 weeks of Pilates training, they found an increase in the brain’s alpha peak power, which is related to neural network activity, memory performance, and other cognitive functions. Researchers believe Pilates may even hold potential as a treatment option for people with brain-degenerative diseases and cognitive dysfunctions.

Try the Stamina AeroPilates 700 Premier Reformer (click on Picture to go to Amazon)

Get the AeroPilates by Stamina Total Body Tone & Lengthen Workout DVD

This is one of the most affordable reformers on the market that doesn’t mean for a second that it lacks on quality or features because it certainly does not.

The model gives you a huge amount of benefits that allow you to have a cardio workout and a Pilates workout all in one. This means you can do your Pilates workouts to give you more flexibility and a lean figure, whilst the use of the rebounder means you can burn calories and lose pounds too.

In fact, it has been proven that the rebounder is just as effective as running on a treadmill at burning calories and is fun to do too!

Using the rebounder is very simple and easy to do. It is very light on the joints as all the exercises are very low impact. Due to the fact that you are laid down, this decreases all the pressure on the joints when performing the exercises.

It comes with a stand that allows it to be elevated by an extra 10 inches, this is great to add variety and flexibility to each exercise. The carriage is larger and cushioned to allow more support and ease of use. There is a head and neck pillow which can be attached for extra support if required. The frame is high quality, heavy duty and metallic gold. All straps and ropes can be adjusted to suit any user.

This is our number one choice of rebounders due to its price and the quality that comes when buying from Stamina.

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