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Pilates is a physical fitness program developed by Joseph Pilates in Germany. The program originates from the early 20th century, and it has become increasingly popular in the last couple of years. It is estimated that more than 11 million people practice pilates only in the United States. In 2005, there were 14000 instructors in the US. This physical exercise involves controlled movement from a strong core and a lot of stretching exercises. A lot of different equipment is also used in the training, including small weighted balls, foam rollers, large exercise balls, rotating disks, and resistance bands. Practicing pilates is one of the greatest ways to bring strength and develop muscles. This program also improves flexibility, and increases the range of motion for the joints. Pilates promotes full body fitness but also emphasizes the breath and the mind, which makes it a great stress management program. To enjoy the maximum benefits of this great discipline, one should choose a class and make sure to pick right equipment. This article is here to help with a couple of tips.
Choosing a wardrobe for pilates might be the most important thing, especially if one works with a professional trainer. The clothes should be as tight as possible to help the trainer check if the body is in proper alignment and if the practitioner is doing the posture in a proper manner. However, the clothes should not be too tight, but comfortable enough, free from any scratching or binding. The good choice for women is to pick a special sports bra that works great for support during pilates exercise. In most of the cases, practitioners are barefoot.
Basic exercise equipment
Basic Pilates equipment includes mats and balls. Most of the pilates studios have their mats and balls but buying your own is always a great solution as it can be used for a home workout. The mats are available in the variety of colors, sizes and styles and their purpose is to prevent slipping. The proper mat should be at least half inch thick and firm. One should make sure that it is long enough and wide enough to support the whole body in the laying position. It would be the best to choose the mat that comes with straps for easy storage and carrying.
Pilates balls vary in texture, color and diameter. The most important thing when choosing a ball is to pick the one that suits the practitioner’s height. People who are 4' 11" - 5' 3" tall should use a 55 cm wide pilates ball. A ball with 65 cm in diameter is designed for people 5' 4" - 5' 10" tall. Those who are higher than 5' 11" should pick a 75 cm wide exercise ball. It would be the best to choose the burst resistant ball equipped with a pump.

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