Back in the early 20th century, a nurse named Joseph Pilates developed a Pilates class to help rehabilitate patients while they were recovering from injury or illness. This class was a method that uses mind to control muscles while improving posture and increasing metabolism. Joseph Pilates designed this exercise to use repetition in breathing and spinal alignment to teach the person correct movement and development of mind control over body movements using muscles. Pilates is holistic in its approach to exercise due to the mind and body working as one unit.
There are many approaches you can take when learning Pilates. Though many of the exercises are the same, depending on how and where you perform them, your Pilates workout will be more or less strenuous. With a choice between private instruction, semi-private instruction, group instruction and video instruction, your possibilities are countless on what level of workout you receive.
Pilates Private Instruction
Having a private Pilates instructor is by far the most strenuous way to practice Pilates. By having the one-on-one training, the instructor will ensure that you are completing all the exercises correctly and getting the best workout. While Pilates is not generally thought of as being aerobic, when done at a quick pace with an instructor watching you for form, Pilates becomes a lot more strenuous and a better way to get in shape.
Private Pilates instruction can be done either in a specialized Pilates studio or at a gym or other fitness studio. At a Pilates studio, you may be able to work on specialized Pilates equipment in addition to the mat classes, which adds another level of skill to your Pilates training.
Semi Private & Group Instruction
Semi private is generally thought to be any class with less than 5 participants, while group classes can reach up to 30 or more participants. Both of these classes can be strenuous. Though you will not move at the same specialized pace with just the instructor when doing group classes, both of these types of classes are good to provide a strenuous workout. Group classes are best after you have a good grasp of how to do many of the basic Pilates exercises.
Using videos will not generally provide you with the most strenuous workout unless you are well versed in how to do Pilates. Because there is no instructor present, you may be doing some moves incorrectly without even knowing and losing much value in your workout. The strenuous nature of Pilates is recognized only by the the tiny nuances that make such a difference when doing a workout of this nature. You could be completing the movements along with the video, however, because you are not looking at yourself while doing them, you will not realize that you are not aligned properly, and thereby lose some value of the workout. For a strenuous workout on video, you should have a firm grasp of Pilates before beginning.
With Pilates, just 10 to 15 minutes a day can have a great effect on your core muscles and help to get you in shape. Choose a program that will challenge you so that you get a strenuous, but low-impact workout to really benefit your entire body.