The first component of stomach fat is the visceral layer around and between your organs. Visceral fat is used as protection. When you are overweight it will also act as a storage area. Visceral fat is tight, so even though your stomach will bulge it will feel tight.
The second type is subcutaneous fat. This is the layer directly under the skin. This is the fat that feels and looks ‘flabby’. Woman store more subcutaneous fat than men (mainly for use during child rearing). Men with excess abdominal fat generally have hard or tight tummies while woman have loose and flabby tummies. This is due women storing fat in the subcutaneous layer as opposed to visceral layer.
The third cause of flabby tummy is weak core muscles and this is where Pilates can be a huge benefit. Not only for strengthening and tightening the core muscles but also for burning fat and increasing blood oxygenation which burns more calories and increases cell renewal.
Since it is not possible to directly lose fat from just your stomach, you have to lose fat from all over your body. To do that you have to increase your cardiovascular work, eat less, breath properly and of course do pilates!
The one place we can ‘spot’ train is a weak core and the ideal form of exercise to do that is Pilates. In fact the whole basis of Pilates is about core strength in the pelvic floor, abdomen and back. For visceral and subcutaneous fat, they have to be burned off with the rest of the fat in the body. Pilates makes your muscles stronger and more efficient at burning fat, it also trains the muscles that help you breath (the intercostals ) and makes your lung capacity bigger and more flexible. The easier and faster exchange of oxygen into carbon the more calories you burn and this increased exchange also increases cell function by pumping more oxygen into the blood. However Pilates on its own will not burn large amounts of calories. Which is why we recommend another form of cardio exercise, walking, swimming and cycling are perfect.
There are a few other things to consider in relation to the fat on our stomachs. We all have different genetic make up and some people store fat more on the stomach. Some store on the hips and thighs etc. Also the place that you last stored fat will be the first place that it comes off when you lose fat. Woman tend to store fat on the stomach and thighs first so this will potentially be the last place that will shed excess weight.
There is another factor that will effect stomach fat – stress. When we have a lot of stress in our lives (who doesn’t have a lot of stress in their lives these days?) we release more of the hormone called cortisol which triggers fat storage in the abdomen. Pilates helps to address the stress in our lives because it takes you out of your day completely for one. two or three hours a week. You focus on your breathing, your body and your mind and that is deeply relaxing and stress reducing.
Yes! By doing Pilates to strengthen core muscles, increasing the fat burning efficiency of the body, and by reducing stress in your life. In fact Pilates combined with another form of cardiovascular workout can provide huge weight loss benefits. But a one off session once a week for three or four weeks will only give you a basic understanding of Pilates principles. You will need a more intensive practice of 3 or 4 times per week, plus some form of fat burning cardio exercise, and address the stress in your life, eat a healthy balanced diet to get really great results.
To get the most and best results, it is always advised to train with an expert and we invite you to join us at The Hundred Wellness Center in Dubai with our watchful Pilates experts to reap the best in your workout. We offer private and small group classes to ensure best results, from Mat Pilates to Reformer, Cadillac, Pole, Chair….don’t let those names scare you off!
In this day and age, humans are relying heavily and more on social media and technology to get around in their daily lives. While it has its positives, there is also a lot of natural stimulation, sensation, movement and spatial awareness being lost from sitting behind the desk and car for several hours on end. This month we take a look at how healthy animals move about throughout their day and how Pilates incorporates several of those “natural” movements in its exercise repertoire to allow for a healthier range of movement and a profound release on muscular tension.
Joseph Pilates, the founder of Pilates, was much inspired by the way animals naturally move with no pulled muscle or injuries (unless ofcourse they had to defend themselves in a fight). He went to zoos to watch animals in motion and encouraged students to observe the movement of animals which are wonderful teachers. In Joseph Pilates book, Return to Life through Contrology, he has a section where he talks about how the cat’s back muscles ripple as it stretches and relaxes itself. And about how the cat is so utterly relaxed when it sleeps. Pilates reminds us that his exercises encourage this constant stretching and relaxing. Cats move with grace and power, accomplishing what they need to do without overly-developed muscles — just as balanced and efficient muscular development is one of the priorities of the Pilates method.
“This true rhythm and control is observed both in domestic pets and wild animals – without exception.” – Joseph Pilates
Walid Tebarki, one of the Pilates instructors at The Hundred Pilates Studio, speaks out about the strong and healthy connection of Pilates movements named after an “animal” and the smart connection between their range of movements to how humans should apply in their daily lives.
“The core of the body as the center of the earth. Every thing is attracted to the center and moves without tension. Pilates Method is an evolution physical training.It is first neurogenic before myogenic. Animals are similar and that’s why Joe Pilates is using animals and kids images to bring us back to the original shape. Animals and/or Kids move effortlessly because they have the perfect balance between the inside and the outside world. It’s interesting to note that the moves of animals stimulate their fascia and they never work out by tiring one or two muscle groups as some fitness trainings do. The muscles of animals are interconnected meaning, the connective tissue is stimulated by being stretched and contracted at the same time which in return, strengthens the deep muscles.
And beyond the physical side of things, Pilates also focuses on a more holistic approach to this topic.
The Body is a place that we mostly ignore. Our own body is a landscape that is both remarkably familiar and strangely unfamiliar to us at the same time. If you are aware about the amazing world inside you. You will have the gift to change the word. This is also the power of being present in the “now”. – Walid Tebarki
So this month we ask Kara Martin – editor of Sport 360 newspaper in the UAE – to try out selected Pilates exercises that are named and inspired after animals such as cat, seal, swan, crab, elephant, monkey and frog – just to name a few – to connect with the natural movements animals go through in their daily life and talk about her experience of how she felt (body and mind) after performing those selected moves at The Hundred Pilates Studio.
You have probably heard it several times now – the Pilates Powerhouse – and might still be intrigued to find out what it REALLY means and why the emphasis on “powerhouse” so much? The Pilates method is a comprehensive body-conditioning method that is directed toward the development of both the body and the mind of the individual. Toward this end, the Pilates method incorporates six key principles: centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow. The principle of centering refers to the concept that all movements of the human body emanate from the center or core or what Joseph Pilates called the powerhouse of the body. The Pilates method endeavors to strengthen the powerhouse as one of its primary goals. In effect, strengthening the powerhouse is core-stabilization.
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