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Pilates 101

Updated: 6 days ago

By Shea Smith

If you are looking for a low-impact exercise that does not strain your muscles and joints, let me introduce you to pilates

Pilates has been around for over 100 years now. German trainer Joseph Pilates invented the workout following World War I and opened his first studio in the U.S. in 1923. Pilates is a form of strength training that targets sculpting your entire body through repetitive, yet highly intensive, movement. 

While pilates is a full-body workout, the main component is using your core. It aims to tone and lengthen tiny muscles while increasing flexibility. This type of training benefits both mind and body. 

There are different types of pilates. The two most popular methods are mat pilates and reformer pilates. Mat pilates is typically performed on a yoga mat or any soft surface. Adding equipment such as light weights is optional. Reformer pilates uses a reformer machine that generates resistance through bands, pulleys and springs to challenge your body to feel the burn. 

If you want to challenge yourself, add light weights such as two-pound dumbbells or Bala Bangles that can be strapped around your wrists or ankles. Adding weights will help with feeling a burn and increasing your strength over time.  

To take pilates classes, an excellent option for college students on a budget is through YouTube channels. Move With Nicole, Lidia Mera and Lottie Murphy are a few instructors with great channels. This exercise can be done anywhere: your dorm room, the gym or a yoga mat in the quad – the possibilities are endless! 

Sydney Sweeney, Miley Cyrus, Lori Harvey and Jennifer Aniston are just a handful of celebrities who swear by this low-impact method to keep their minds and bodies in shape. 

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