What are the Benefits of Pilates?

What are the Benefits of Pilates?

What are the benefits of Pilates? Is it for you? If you are looking for improved spine health,…

What are the Benefits of Pilates?

 With so many methods of exercise from which to choose these days, today we’re pinpointing one with staying power. That’s right friends, Pilates is not a fad. It was created in the 1920’s by Joseph Pilates, and was actually originally developed for rehabilitation. Athletes and dancers have been long time practitioners, and now it’s quite mainstream! The benefits are many, but here are some points that will hopefully get you inspired to give it a try, or re-investigate if you’ve tried it once or twice. It’s just good. Really, really good.

It’s vitamins for your mind

It’s not just about the Physical benefits! Pilates boosts mental well-being.

Pilates gets you balanced!

Helps Remediate muscle imbalance. Muscle imbalance is a major reason people experience injuries & pain. Pilates is preventitive in that by developig a balanced body, m

It can help you reduce stress and anxiety

The release of tension in your body can help dramatically with the release of tension in your mind! Breathing through your practice also helps you to be in the moment.

Boosts muscular control

The control your body learns through Pilates will serve you well in a variety of other sports and activities. 

Helps you develop a stronger core (abs, lower back, hips, glutes)

Show your core some love! Pilates is famous for being an amazing core workout. You core is so much more than your abs, and you absolutely have to have a strong core in order to have a balanced physique! 

There is a slight meditative quality, but it not necessarily a relaxation

Many people find peace as they breath through a session with energy and positivity! Fittbe’s pretty famous for this positivity piece! 

Improves flexibility

Flexibility is essential for good fitness. I’ve heard so many times – “I hate to stretch.” Guess what… you need to! If you don’t stretch, you are opening yourself up to many potential problems and injuries. If you hate to stretch, or you don’t know what stretches to do, Pilates is the perfect choice because it’s built into the flow for you!

Can Help Reduce Pain

Originally built for rehab, Pilates can help reduce pain. For example, many times, people experience lower back pain as a result of a weak core.  

Increases muscle strength and tone

You get major strength benefits from practicing Pilates! Not only will you feel better, you will look better too. Now, that’s not our main focus, because we don’t want to be shallow. But, in all honestly, yes. You will look like more of a babe of you do Pilates 😉 

Pilates helps you to feel more centered

There is so much beauty in the practice of Pilates. Movement originates from your core, and as you focus on Joseph Pilates’ foundational principles, you will find that you feel more centered 

Improves posture and spine health

Pilates improves your posture and helps to prevent upper back curvature! As you work through your Pilates sessions, you will practice lifting from the crown of your head, having a neutral spine, a strong core as you think of pulling your abs in and up, along with relaxed chest.

Helps your to relax and create a balanced body

 Did you know that one of the best ways to feel more relaxed in your day to day life is to workout, and Pilates is the ideal method as you breath deeply, engage deep muscles, and find a simple beauty across all movement, conducive to less pain, more range and balanced muscles!

 

Let Pilates improve your life and health!

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Put Joseph Pilates’ Principles to Work!

Put Joseph Pilates’ Principles to Work!

Improve your Pilates practice and get better results with Joseph Pilates' principles!

Win your Next Pilates Workout with Guidance from Joseph Pilates Himself!

A little guidance from “uncle Joe” can help you crush get more out out of your next session. Let’s make sure we understand the principles of Pilates as designed by Joseph Pilates himself!

 

Are you kicking off a practice of Pilates for Beginners? Are you an advanced Pilates practitioner? Whether you are in the beginning of your journey with this amazing method of exercise, developed by Joseph Pilates, or you’ve been working on it for years, you can always enjoy a refresh of the core Principles of Pilates as designed by Joseph Pilates himself.

 

Control:

In Pilates, what does this really mean? Every single movement is a conscious choice. Let’s say a particular muscle is not the immediate focus of an exercise. It’s not the “star.”  Does this mean it takes a break? Not at all. Pilates is all about control. It is all deliberate. Mindful movement is the name of the game. If Deepak Chopra has taught us anything about mindfulness, it’s that “is the opposite of acting out of habit, old conditioning, and automatic reflexes. You no longer are a brain puppet reacting.”  Mindfulness applies to movement too. No muscle ever falls by the wayside. Today let’s all focus on controlling the way our bodies move and engage!

Centering:

We talked about control, but what is centering? Is it the same? While definitely linked, it’s actually not the same. Centering is the act of physically and mentally bringing our focus to the center of our bodies. If you thought, core, you guessed it! That’s why in Fittbe Pilates, we’re always talking about how even if it feels like a leg exercise, it’s a core exercise. Even if it’s an arm exercise, it’s a core exercise. So stay centered in mind, body, and spirit! Don’t forget, we said it is physical focus too, and you can even engage your core when you’re sitting at your desk, stuck in traffic, or having a phone chat with a friend. Try to tighten your abdominal muscles and pull them toward your spine as you exhale. Talk about a multitasking method that can change your life for the better!

 

Concentration:

What is concentration in Pilates? It’s all about the mind-body connection. We must concentrate on the quality of each movement in order to get the most out of each exercise and session. We are paying attention to how we are moving our bodies – are we rolling through our spine as we tighten our abdominals? Are we twisting and tightening our waist with each exhale? Are we doing leg circles and focusing on the extension off our leg, lengthening with every circle as we stabilize our core with the rest of our body?  It’s my hope that everyone tries this amazing method of exercise, it’s preventative, practical, and perfect!

Precision:

I have this habit of mentally commenting on people’s form when they walk or run. Sometimes I see runners and I think, ouch, their knees are really going to hurt later in life. Or maybe just tomorrow! The knowledge that my Pilates training has given me with regard to precise movement translates through my life and I hope it does for you too!

The point of this principle is that each movement performed in a Pilates session must be precise. No floppy arms. No “going through the motions.” It just won’t work. It won’t give you the results, and it won’t feel right in your body. So, always keep focus on making precise movements. If our arms are 3/4 up, that’s exactly where they are placed. Focus on precision! Do you best and know where your body is headed – be accurate – be exact!

Breathing:

People are often confused on this one. Usually in Pilates we coordinate breathing out with exertion. Proper breathing allows you to center yourself in the moment and supports mind body awareness. So for example, as you curl up and engage your abs, you want to tighten and engage! It also helps to support a beautiful flowing session!

Flow:

We just talked about breathing and how it supports flow. Everything is linked! When grace and ease are applied to the exercises, we end up with a smooth and continuous sequence of beautiful movement like the choreographed sessions we all enjoy in the Fittbe Pilates App!

Recap!

These are your principles to get the most from your Pilates practice. Keep them fresh!

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Control

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Concentration

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Centering

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Precision

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Breathing

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Flow

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How to Work your Lower Abs

How to Work your Lower Abs

How to target your lower abs!

We get requests all of the time about this problem area!

 

 Simple Curl and Lifts

 Begin with your arms over your head, lying on your back. As you exhale, you want to roll up while pressing your lower back toward the mat. Hold this for a few seconds, then slowly roll down, floating your arms back up overhead! 

Plank w Knee Lowers 

It’s not good to just to “sit ups” in order to work your abs. You want to take a nice variety of body positions in order to target them in a balanced way. Thank you Pilates! We love a low plank with dual knee lowers in order to activate middle and lower abdominal muscles! It’s perfect sandwiched in between exercises with different body positions!

Feet to the Sky Lifts

 

Reach your feet up to the sky, stretching your legs. We might barely be able to see it, but you’ll be getting to those deep lower abs! 

Reach your feet up to the sky, stretching your legs. Go for a 90 degree angle, but if they aren’t totally straight today, that’s ok, keep working toward it!  

 Activate you lower abs as you try to lift your hips up off of the mat about an inch! These are quite subtle, but they REALLY get the job done. This is probably the very best exercise to make get those lower ab muscles engaged and working!  

We have amazing full length workouts that are choreographed and ready for you in the Fittbe Pilates App! Join our amazing community for ~ 23 cents per day. Try some sessions FREE too!

 

 

Tone, Stretch, Elongate. FEEL AMAZING!

We invite you to join a community who loves active living, Hygge, great recipes, and best of all, Unlimited Pilates!

 

Boost your mood, focus, and improve your sleep!

Can Exercise Reduce Stress & Tiredness?

So you’re feeling stressed, unfocused, a little tired… We’ve all been there! Rather than reaching for the remote to stream another series on Netflix or head to the couch for a nap, instead try a complete 360 and go for a little workout instead!

 

I’m already tired and you want me to workout to be more wakeful?

YES! You heard right, friend!

When you are feeling a little tired, a nice workout session will get both your circulation and endorphins going! You will enjoy a good mood boost, and much less tired. It doesn’t have to be anything too crazy. From at at home Pilates workout to a nice walk or a jog, it’s a great way to say to you body, “hey, wakie wakie, we have things to do!”

A mood booster!

We talked about endorphins, get ready for good feelings!

Endorphins are hormones that when simply put, make you feel good. When you exercise, your body releases  chemicals that give you a positive feeling! According to webmd, “that feeling, known as a “runner’s high,” can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.” That sounds good to us! 

Getting Exercise also improves sleep!

Workout to sleep better!

Charlene Gamaldo, M.D. , medical director of Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep explains that  “moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of slow wave sleep you get. Slow wave sleep refers to deep sleep, where the brain and body have a chance to rejuvenate. Exercise can also help to stabilize your mood and decompress the mind, “a cognitive process that is important for naturally transitioning to sleep.”

Feeling stuck? 

Use exercise to refocus!

According to the Harvard Medicine blog, exercise can help your brain to focus! Several studies have demonstrated that exercise that gets your heart pumping also can help your brain function. It may also improve memory! 

Get ready to THINK more clearly, sleep more soundly, and be in a better mood. Who wouldn’t love that!?

 

Get your Copy of Fittbe Pilates!

Enjoy an upbeat session of Fittbe Pilates today + your achievement diary, favorites, fun and balanced wellness activities & more!

Be the Belle of The Barre!

Be the Belle of The Barre!

Here we highlight a few super exercises that are simple and fun!

Barre Exercises from “Belle of the Barre” by Fittbe!

Who is ready to be the Belle of the Barre?! If you can find 25 minutes to enjoy this session from the Fittbe Barre app, we know you’ll feel amazing and benefit from a glorious full body tone that improves posture, feels graceful and is also FUN! Here are a few of our featured exercises with an excerpt so that you can all see what’s coming! 

4 count plie pumps with arms floating to second

An all time favorite warm up!

This warm up is amazing and you can really do it any time you just need to warm up your arms and legs! Take your feet to a natural first position, and start by engaging your legs, and squeezing your inner thighs together. Really think of “pulling up” through your legs. Arms are starting in Fifth en Bas of Bras Bas, and taking the 4 counts of plie pumps to float to second position. Then, take 4 counts to float back down and gather for another set! Keep sending your hips straight to the floor. 

Alternating heel second position plie pulses

This one really works your legs!

Make sure your take a nice wide second position with your legs. Promise yourself that you’ll route your knees right over your second toe for the entire exercise. Good tracking is essential! As as you lift one heel off, and keep your foot in demi point, take your plie knee bend lower. Then, take your heel back down to the mat. Switch off legs and find a nice rhythm! 

 

Standing oblique rotation with parallel passe

Engage your waist as you twist! 

Ok, see the picture? That waist is twisting and those abs are tightening with every exhale. But the FUN part is that your upper body is totally dancing with each twist! The torso always goes toward your working leg on this one. Your standing leg is reaching tall and far from the floor! Be sure to get your knee nice and high and make sure you keep your best posture!

First position curl ups on the Mat

Take it down to the mat!

For this exercise, you will want to come down to your back, and take your arms over your head. Flatten and tighten your abs. Squeeze your knees together in a bent knee position, feet on the mat. As you exhale, roll your upper body and arms up and find a ballet first position. Hold for several counts, then roll down slowly through your spine keeping your core tightly engaged!

Rotated leg, lift, lower, out, and center

Isolate those external rotators and inner thighs!

Begin in a position with your elbows on the mat. Keep your neck long. Bend your knees out in front of yourself, then route your first working leg to a 45 Degree angle. Flex your foot. Now, draw the leg upward, enjoying a hamstring stretch. Keep your knee reaching side. Lower slowly back to the 45 degree position. Now keeping your core strong, route the leg outward off of your center line, and hold. Lastly draw it back in, engaging your thighs again. That’s one set!

We have some helpful video clips of the featured exercises here for you, and the full video is available in the Fittbe Barre app. Included for All Members! Tap the link to enjoy! 

 

It's always a good day for BARRE!

BARRE is always a good idea, and of course Paris is too.. Thanks Sabrina!

 

How to Improve your Posture with 5 Pilates & Yoga Moves

How to Improve your Posture with 5 Pilates & Yoga Moves

It's time to improve your posture with 5 Pilates and Yoga moves. Nobody wants tech neck!

The Best Exercises to Improve Posture!

Sit up straight at the table sweetheart! Put your shoulders back. Can you hear your Mom’s voice in your head right now reminding you to have good posture?! It’s time we all listen to her, because, quite simply, she had it right, and she probably wasn’t even thinking about muscle imbalance!

It’s a slippery slope!

Don’t fall into bad habits

So we know this in our minds, but we also know that laziness and bad habits are easy to fall into. It’s a slippery slope – say we sit at computers, ultra-focused, leaning forward, and before we know it we’re looking like that character from “Despicable Me!” Reminder – he appears to have a super bad case of tech neck.

Don’t train to look like “tech neck”

Send your knees to the side as you work those legs with little pulses. ⠀

Or… we lock out our knees, curl forward and let our shoulders fall to the front. Let’s all agree – NOT a good look friends! The worst part of these problems? When we fall into poor posture habits, we are training our muscles and bodies to take these shapes.

 

 

Ah, but let’s not despair! There is good news because just as poor posture can become a habit, so can good posture ~ so let’s opt for GOOD!

Here are some helpful exercises 

So, don’t be a slouch – Here are some moves from Fittbe to help with better posture!

Ah, but let’s not despair! There is good news because just as poor posture can become a habit, so can good posture ~ so let’s opt for GOOD!

  1. Heart to the Sky: Chest Opener

This exercise is amazing for posture as it stretches your back and chest! This helps you avoid that dreaded forward curve. Stand up tall and send your arms out to your sides at a low 45 Degree Angle. Send your hands toward one another, reaching behind your back and keeping your shoulders pressed down.

2. Y 2 Goal Upper Back Toner

Lie face forward on your mat, and place your arms in a goalpost position. Engage your back muscles and lift your upper body up off of the mat. Exhale to reach your arms out to a Y position and hold, then inhale to bring them back to a goalpost! 

3. Supported Fish & Neck Flexion Combo

Supported fish – This one is easy and so good for training good posture. It’s pure stretch, so do it when you are warm. Place a foam roller or a rolled up towel on the floor. Lie on your back with your roller or rolled towel right in the middle of your shoulder blades. Let your arms relax to your sides as you relax your upper back. You can also elect to take your hands behind your head.

Roll up, and remove the foam roller or towel. Then roll back down to your mat. Gently roll back down onto your back, arms to your sides. Carefully tuck your chin and lift your head head an inch of two away from your mat. Hold for about 3 seconds, then lower back to the mat with your chin toward your chest. 

 

4. Standing T Stretch

Next, you’ll stand up and reach your arm forward with your palms up. Keep you core strong and stand up as straight as you can. Step 2, is to glide your arms to your sides – keep them on the same plane. Hold for 5 seconds, then route your arms back to the front. Repeat several times!

 

5. Spread your Wings: Elbow Lifts

This last exercise is a bit of a “funky chicken!” Face your mat once more, and reach your legs out behind yourself, a little wider than your hips. Place your hands behind your head and lift off the mat several inches with your upper body. Here’s the chicken part… Let your elbows come in toward your face, then pull them out sideways and hold for about 3 seconds. Repeat about 8 times! See the pics below for your 2 steps!  

It's always a good day for PILATES!

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