Choosing Music for Pilates

Choosing Music for Pilates

Rhythm, beat, mood. It seems that sport activities and music are made for each other. Rhythmic melodies help move to the beat, powers of the body are mobilized to windup beats, heart and pulse seem to adjust to the sound.

Studies show that the melody that sounds during training can make us believe in our own strength and preparedness. So, listening to music, to perform the usual exercises or complexes, we put 12% less effort, while becoming 15% more hardy. It is important to choose the correct accompaniment for a certain physical activity. The composition that perfectly suits fitness doesn’t quite fit into a yoga lesson and vice versa.

But what about the popular Pilates today? Indeed, in essence, this training involves precisely a group with the guidance of a trainer and it is something in between the conscious movements, stretching in yoga and complex cyclic fitness approach.

How to choose the musical accompaniment for these classes? Let’s get it together.

What is and who is Pilates?

Pilates today is understood as dynamic physical activity, which does not imply tearing and overwork of the main muscle groups. The system, originally designed to maintain shape and recover from significant injuries, is aimed at working out the deep muscles with the help of complexes of unique exercises and sports equipment. It borrowed the name from the founder of the technique, the German-American athlete and teacher Joseph Pilates.

By his example, Pilates proved that even a physically weak and sick child, thanks to special exercises, can become an athlete. From early childhood, Joseph suffered from asthma, rickets, rheumatic fever, but was able to independently improve physical fitness, became a professional sportsman and trained real fighters. He was engaged in boxing, bodybuilding, and taught self-defense classes for Scotland Yard police.

During the First World War he helped restore the physical form of wounded soldiers, and gradually began to formalize his approaches to rehabilitation in a separate school, the so-called doctrine of mental control of muscles and conscious movement.

He adopted the ideas of awareness from yoga, believed that it is impossible to achieve significant results without attention to each action. This is a kind of self-knowledge from a new perspective, hrough the sensation of muscles.

Boring? Not at all!

There is a widespread belief that Pilates is an activity for housewives who are just bored of being alone at home. After all, training does not include strength exercises, does not bring obvious fatigue, suffering. But it is not so:

  • awareness during the implementation of each exercise gives a new symbolism to the understanding of your body;
  • proper breathing is important, due to which the internal organs are enriched with oxygen, and receive a healing massage;
  • after classes, the person does not really feel very tired, he does not sweat and the heartbeat does not accelerate. But at the same time, even experienced athletes can not immediately perform all sets of exercises;
  • music is an important component during training, it helps to get rid of negative thoughts, tune in the right way.

Pilates classes do not aim at the famous slogan “Faster, Higher, Stronger”. Their appeal more likely sounds a call for attentiveness and caution in handling your body. This is a kind of meditation in motion. Therefore, musical accompaniment should be chosen appropriately.

Why is music important?

Scientists proved that while listening to music, watching movies, reading books, the so-called mirror neurons are activated in the cerebral cortex. Their inclusion in the work is the result of social interaction and helps to engage empathy. It’s as if we are attuning to the “wave” of the author’s mood and get used to his attitude at the time of creation of the work.

That is why the right choice of music for sports is so important. Music helps to choose exactly the mood that needs to be “reflected” by our neurons. And since empathy is closely related to social activity, then during group training, the mirror effect may increase. For example, a military drum sounds much more inviting and causes courage for a soldier in the ranks than for onlookers on the sidelines.

In sports, music gives energy, helps to stay longer, endure the load and complete the complex. But since in Pilates, as in yoga, it is important not to maintain powerful jerks, but to provide concentration of attention on breathing and sensations in one’s own body, the task of the background composition is not to distract, help to concentrate, not to rush, but to feel deeper.

Therefore, it is better to give preference to slow instrumental melodies containing the sound of waves, the sounds of the forest and the singing of birds. It is important that the compositions last as long as possible, without noticeably slowing down and accelerating the rhythm and tempo to maintain the mood you need for your workout.

Find the right pace

If you are falling asleep to the sound of birds, rather than catching a working spirit, then you can think about choosing really rhythmic compositions. But at the correct pace.

The fact is that the tempo in music is calculated, like the pulse, by the number of beats per minute. In short, this is a measure of BPM (beats per minute). Accordingly, the higher the tempo, the more rhythmic the melody. Therefore, in a classic fitness training, a whole combination of several melodies is sometimes chosen to accompany the warm-up, stretching, static exercises, and completion of the complex.

For Pilates, these rhythmic vibrations are not so important, rather the general mood and its preservation for some time are more important. In short, for a sports playlist, you need to select songs according to this principle:

  • 70-128 BPM – pace for a quiet workout. For example, stretching, yoga, Pilates, relaxation. Such melodies allow you to relax, concentrate;
  • 128-132 BPM – for general strengthening training;
  • 132-140 BPM – for dance complexes or step classes. It makes you tired, sweating, burns calories;
  • 140-190 BPM – for running and home cardio training. It turns off self-pity and makes you work more actively.

So, for practicing Pilates, it is better to choose compositions with a pace of up to 128 beats per minute. On the one hand, they are rhythmic, but they do not force to run, to catch up with themselves. Rather, they help to tune in to the perception of the inner “Me”.

Listening to yourselves along with the music

So, Pilates is a unique set of exercises designed to train deep muscles and strengthen the body. It can help to lose weight, solve some health problems, strengthen the body as a whole, and correct posture. It is better to engage with an instructor in the hall, using special equipment. At home, you can only repeat the exercises learned with the trainer to consolidate the effect.

How to find the right music for your workouts? What criteria should it meet? Here are some working tips.

  1. Choose long instrumental compositions (up to an hour, so that the lesson is not interrupted), with sounds of nature, at a pace of up to 128 beats per minute.
  2. You can find ready-made tunes recommended by experts. To do this, training websites with collections have been created.
  3. Depending on the mood, you can alternate the melodies from training to training, or, on the contrary, you can choose your favorite music to indicate the training hour.
  4. It is important to discard negative thoughts and completely switch to the perception of sensations in the body.

A beautiful, healthy and slim body is the key to self-confidence and success in life. But it is important to remember that in itself it will not make you a winner. Mood, state of mind, awareness in every action and movement are meaningful as well. This is exactly what Joseph Pilates taught, his followers propagate. And correctly selected music helps training during classes, prolongs the effect even after them.

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