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Pilates

Before you start bulking your muscles, improve your posture with the help of Pilates. By Hwang Hye-Young

Great for Those who suffer from forward neck posture and crooked backs.

Not so great for Those who have high blood pressure, diabetes or osteoporosis. Before doing signing up for Pilates it’s recommended that you consult with your doctor first.

Pilates is a physical fitness system that was created by German sports researcher Joseph Pilates and it helps you develop your muscles. He was interned at a internment camp in at Lancaster Castle, England during WWI and developed a training system for the exercise and rehabilitation program for war prisoners and this marked the very beginning of today’s Pilates. Pilates is most famous for using different equipment, such as the Cadillac and Reformer. A lot of people confuse Pilates and yoga, thinking that one must be flexible to do Pilates. However, Pilates allows you to adjust exercise plans and equipment so that things fit your ability and physical condition as much as possible.

Why should we do Pilates?
The average person leans their shoulders inwards and strains their necks forward while typing on their computer and smartphone. If you don’t exercise regularly, chances are high that you are already one of those with a forward neck. You might think it’s easy to fix—all you need to do is hold your neck and chin in the proper position and straighten up your shoulders. But if you are trying to “intentionally” fix your posture in terms of your neck, spine, back or any part of your body, it is likely that your brain already regards your bad posture as being “normal.” So the only real option for those who wish to truly fix their posture is to exercise. Out of all the options available, Pilates is a smart way to improve your physical health as its basics lie in the movements of the center of all human activities, the spine. No matter what exercise you do, you need to begin with the basics and Pilates is the best for correcting your posture.

How does Pilates help correct one's posture?

When you do Pilates, springs and resistance tools attached to exercise equipment prevent your body from making excessive movements while still allowing for the muscles to relax and contract. Even those who don’t think they are flexible are able to strengthen their muscles and enhance their flexibility without difficulty. (—Vincent Jong, ceo of New York Wholistic care)

New York Wholistic care

New York Wholistic Care provides a comprehensive checkup on your spine and posture. They also analyze the condition of your muscles and joints. By doing so, they recommend the exercise regimen that is best suited to your needs.  170,000 won (body type analysis and 1-on-1 training for Pilates basics, two sessions). For information about posture correction through 1:1 chiropractic work, yoga and other therapies, contact the clinic.  

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FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE...

New York Wholistic Care provides a comprehensive checkup on your spine and posture. They also analyze the condition of your muscles and joints. By doing so, they recommend the exercise regimen that is best suited to your needs. After analyzing my body with a computer and a camera, I was told that my body wasn’t in the best condition. My neck was stretched forward 3cm more than normal and my back muscles were also stretched. They said I was fortunate to visit them while still in my late 20s. During my Pilates lesson with trainer Park Mee-hee, we started with stretching the muscles on the backside of my torso. The motion itself didn’t look difficult at all, but soon enough my arms were shaky and my breath irregular. I realized that there were muscles I never noticed I could move. When I did yoga, it wasn’t easy for me as I’m not that flexible. But doing Pilates, I only had to move just as much as I was able to thanks to the springs and bands. It was a new experience using every part of my body. I did have some muscular pain for about two days after the training session, kind of like after you have a massage. Joseph Pilates, the father of Pilates exercise, said: "In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 you will see the difference and in 30 you will have a whole new body." This year, I want to have a whole new me by doing Pilates.

Tips for beginners

Pilates sessions are often held with small groups of people using equipment and so it might not be very cheap. The sizes and prices of different sessions greatly vary depending on the number of participants. In terms of mat Pilates, which does not use any equipment, prices are a bit cheaper so visit a Pilates center and enroll in sessions according to your budget and schedule. How you breathe and how you use the equipment are very important in Pilates and because of this, some recommend that you have some 1-on-1 sessions the first few times.

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