Accessories for gentle exercises, such as gentle gym or the Pilates method, are anything but futile. They are very useful for everyone, irrespective of their level. They make the exercises easier, improve posture or add extra difficulty to training in order to make progress.
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1. Gym Balls
Gym balls serve a number of purposes: increasing muscular reinforcement or relaxing the body muscles, in the back in particular. This accessory adds a touch of instability to your muscle-building exercises, and offers a more difficult option that can help you to make more progress. Its round shape unbalances the body, causing increased engagement of the deep muscles, in the abdominal belt in particular. Using a gym ball also helps to diversify the exercises and makes them more fun. Moreover, using a gym ball is a good way of relaxing the muscles, especially by lying on the ball on your stomach, with your arms hanging loose. You need to choose the right sized ball. Sit on top of the ball, with your feet flat on the floor and your heels aligned with the fold of your knees. If your knees form a right angle and your thighs are parallel to the ground, then the gym ball is the right size for you. Remember to keep the ball properly inflated for optimal use.
2. Foam Rollers
Foam rollers come in very handy in Pilates exercises. Just like gym balls, they add a touch of instability, making it more difficult to perform the basic postures and movements. With a foam roller, you will make faster progress in toning up your deep postural muscles:the back and abdominals. They also enable you to concentrate more closely on adopting and maintaining your posture, because they demand greater corporal control and awareness. The advantage of this accessory for Pilates: you can also use it to massage your own muscles! Press on the foam roller and roll it on your muscles to loosen any muscular knots and relax the muscles.
3. Stretch Straps
Widely used in stretching exercises, yoga and the Pilates method, straps are a useful accessory that helps you to execute postures properly, without injuring yourself. They help to maintain a posture for longer, without forcing, and to exercise more easily, by maintaining the correct vertebral alignment. Stretch straps work like an extension of your body’s limbs, when you lack suppleness or are out of practice. For example, use can touch your feet with your hands with a strap, even when you can’t do this without one. Finally, straps provide a better feeling for stretching, allowing you to work more efficiently.