Pilates 101: 5 Articles to Round Up Your Practice

By: StacyAtZeel

Unless you've been fortunate enough to practice one-on-one with an expert Pilates instructor (or, if you've never practiced at all!) then chances are, there may be a few gray areas when it comes to this popular fitness program. Whether Reformer or Mat, Stott, Power or a fusion-style class, here's what you need to know about getting started with - or enhancing - your Pilates practice.

A hard-core workout. When it comes to grueling workouts, your core tends to hog all the attention-especially during the summer, when your six-pack is on constant display. But behind every strong core, there's an even stronger back, so pay particular attention to these important muscles as well. (Read more here.)

Breathe easy. Just as in yoga, Pilates emphasizes a focused style of breathing. We turn to two of New York City's top Pilates experts to learn about the importance of the breath as you move from one position to the next. (Read more here.)

Injury prevention in a pinch. When most people think of injuries, they're wondering how to recover after incurring one. What's less common is to take the initiative to perform those activities that actually prevent injuries from occurring in the first place. Pilates foots that bill. (Read more here.)

A Pilates practice for two. As a form of exercise, Pilates has an inimitable ability to strengthen the pelvic floor, otherwise known as the "inner unit" of core muscles. Your inner unit (and other muscles too) are placed under an incredible amount of strain during pregnancy, so the more awareness a woman can have of her inner core, the more pain-free those nine months can be. (Read more here.)

What's the deal with fusion Pilates? We ask trusted Zeel Expert Halle Clarke-owner of New York City's Mongoose Bodyworks-for her take on fusion Pilates. What eccentric Pilates-inspired classes are out there, and are they as effective as the original? Halle tells it like it is. (Read more here.)