Body Shaping With Pilates

Too often, exercises are designed to simply burn calories, and work small muscles that are closer to the surface of the skin. While these types of exercises are great for weight loss, they really don't do much for toning and strengthening the muscles, and therefore, do nothing for actually shaping the body. Instead of working the body from the outside to the inside, Pilates works the body from the inside to the outside, which is more effective for body shaping.

Weight lifting was formerly the most popular way to work and build those deep muscles that are so important to the shape of your body, but many people - especially women - didn't want to lift weights because they didn't want their muscles to bulk up, which is what weight lifting does. Pilates offers everyone the opportunity to build and strengthen those larger deep muscles, without bulking up.

Pilates improves flexibility, posture, and body alignment. When you do Pilates on a regular basis, you are even less susceptible to injury - because your large muscles are in much better condition, and the abdominal muscles become strong enough to help prevent back injury as well.

By aligning the body correctly and improving posture, Pilates helps us pull ourselves up, which improves our body shape. Pilates places a great deal of emphasis on precise movements. These movements are not jerky - they are slow and graceful, and designed to strengthen and increase body awareness and control. These smaller precise movements literally sculpt the body, while building strength and increasing circulation.

Pilates places allot of focus on strengthening the back and abdominal muscles - where the shape of your body actually derives from. Because Pilates exercises can be modified in such a way that anybody can do them, more and more people are turning to this method of exercise for body shaping.

While there is exercise equipment that can be used for Pilates, all you really need to get the body shape that you desire is your body and a mat - and of course some Pilate instruction, which can easily be found in a book, class or on video or DVD. Pilates exercises can give you the body shape that you desire, while improving your overall health in the process.
 

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Featured Instructor Shannon Beaty has been practicing Pilates for over 10 years, and has been a Pilates instructor for over 6 years. She teaches at the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles and oversees their entire Pilates Program.

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