Pilates is one of the most popular and well-known forms of exercise. It is a series of exercises that are inspired by yoga, ballet, and calisthenics.
It’s a great form of exercise which stretches and strengthens major muscle groups in our bodies. It improves strength, flexibility, and balance.
It involves breathing and calming elements from yoga and improves your posture.
That’s an overall amazing way to exercise and improve your health, even if you have not exercised for a long time or you are recovering from an injury.
Read on to see 12 benefits from training pilates.
What Is Pilates?
Pilates was first invented to help injured athletes return to their regular exercise and maintain their fitness level without being exposed to new injuries. After it gained popularity, it was adapted to the general masses.
Pilates requires focus and concentration. You are moving your body through a range of motions that are controlled and planned.
It stretches the major muscle groups in your body, and you need to find a center point to control your body movements.
The muscles are never worked to exhaustion. Exercises are performed in repetition and done in sequences.
It’s usually adjusted to each person’s needs, so it is suitable for everyone, from athletes to people with limited mobility.
Types Of Pilates
There are two basic forms of Pilates.
The first one is the mat-based pilate. It’s a series of exercises performed on the floor using your body and gravity to provide resistance. The muscles that are targeted are the supporting ones that improve your posture, balance, and coordination.
The second form is the equipment-based pilates. It includes equipment that works against resistance. This adds an element to push your body to do more difficult exercises and improve your strength.
Besides the bigger equipment, smaller equipment like dumbbells is also used to offer resistance to the muscles. It’s a good starting point if you have injuries and want to rebuild your muscles again
Top 12 Benefits of Pilates
1. No Pressure On Your Joints
Pilates consists of slow and controlled movements, so there is minimal impact on your joints. It’s a perfect exercise if you are recovering from injury and can’t do high-impact exercises.
This means that pilates is good for any age and any level of fitness. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, pilates can benefit anyone.
2. Increases Core Strenght
Besides strengthening the entire body and muscles, Pilates mainly focuses on strengthening the core muscles.
Core muscles or the muscles that are not arm and leg muscles, are important for our balance and stability.
By strengthening your core muscles you will have more stability and will be less likely to get hurt.
Core strength also gives you a better posture and minimizes back pains.
Basic exercises for core muscles are planks, crunches, sit up, but you can do pilates. It encompasses all of the muscles in the body, giving you an all-around training and strength.
3. Improves Balance and Coordination
Balance and coordination are vital for our ability to move and function normally. Due to age or injury, our balance and coordination can be lost or lowered. It increases chances for falls and reduces general motor functions.
Practicing Pilates will increase your coordination and balance because it requires you to focus and be mindful of your movement and coordination.
It increases your strength, flexibility, and concentration which helps you in improving your balance.
The slow and deliberate movements are perfect for people of age because they can workout and increase their quality of life in a calm and safe way.
4. Understand Your Limits Safely
Even though many exercises are in a reclining or sitting position, they can still be very impactful.
Pilates is challenging enough that it can push your body’s boundaries, but it won’t hurt you if you are mindful and careful. It helps you understand your body’s limit.
If you exercise regularly, you will see how your boundaries are being pushed without injuring yourself or any caused pain. Your body adapts to the movements and exercises and becomes stronger and healthier.
5. Boosts Mental Health
Since pilates requires concentration and focus, it helps to create and improve the relationship with the body and mind. Focus and meditation used in pilates help improve your mental health and wellbeing.
Pilates makes you focus on your breathing, body and movement, and how they all work together for you to do the exercise correctly.
Exercise can be very beneficial to your mind and your body, making a perfect boost to your mental health.
6. Reduce Stress and Anxiety
More than even we are dealing with mental health problems like anxiety, and the majority of us experiencing some form of stress.
A natural way to deal with these problems is through physical movement and exercise.
A lot of stress accumulates in our muscles, resulting in pain, stiffness and reduced movement. Pilates can help us in relieving stress and muscle pain through exercises of stretching and fluid movement. Muscles will relax and release built-up stress and stiffness.
7. Fights Insomnia
Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep and many people suffer from this health problem.
It can be caused by a number of health issues like allergies, asthma, neurological issues, or drinking too much caffeine and eating too much. It’s also very common with people who are dealing with a lot of stress.
Pilates is a perfect exercise for calming down and relaxing your body and mind. It can be done before bed or in the evening to help you unwind and slow your mind, which will help you fall asleep easily.
8. Improves Breathing
You need balance in your body and even breathing to exercise properly. Pilates has a big focus on breathing and blood circulation.
It can help you improve in breathing irregularities you may have, and also lower your blood pressure.
Slouching and bad posture can limit your breathing. Pilates stretches your muscles, including the diaphragm which allows you to breathe deeper. Even breathing also reduces stress and anxiety.
9. Increases Circulation
Blood circulation is very important for our whole body to function properly. A problem that we face nowadays is that we spend the majority of our time sitting, which makes our circulation not work as god as it should.
Any type of exercise and movement can improve your blood circulation, but pilates works in many different ways to help us.
It strengthens your whole body, improving our posture and lung health which automatically improves our blood flow.
Improved blood flow reduces dizziness and breathing problems, regulates our body temperature and lowers blood pressure.
10. Cuts Down On Body Fat
Pilates doesn’t give you bulky muscle, but rather elongates the muscles due to stretching and gentle exercise.
This is more likely to give you a leaner and taller body. It stimulates the body and your digestive system.
Since your digestive system is working better and your body is becoming leaner, your metabolism works faster and you’ll burn more fat.
You can gradually in a safe way lose weight while increasing your muscle and toning your body.
If you include a healthy diet and generally healthier way of living, you will achieve your dream body even faster.
11. Great For Posture
Since Pilates is an exercise that combines many elements and works your whole body, it strengthens your back muscles which results in good posture.
Bad posture is common with people who spend a lot of time sitting, and it makes back muscles weaker, resulting in even worse posture and overall body pain. Pilates can be used as a form of physiotherapy with great results.
Clinical Pilates has differences with regular pilates. It can treat a wide range of injuries and conditions. It is supervised by a Physiotherapist because they have knowledge of your injury and how to treat it best with your abilities in mind.
There are clinical pilates Sydney centers that can safely help you recover from an injury and improve your health and body movements.
12. Beneficial For Pregnancies
Unlike many types of exercise, Pilates is safe and can give your great benefits with pelvic and spinal alignment. It’s very beneficial for pregnant women or women that have just given birth.
It can help you maintain the level of fitness and strengthen your muscles. A strengthened pelvic muscle will make birth easier. It can also help you return your body to great shape.
There are many benefits to doing pilates. It’s an exercise for anyone, no matter the body type, fitness level or age.
It helps with back pain, injuries, and general health and well being, and is beneficial to many aspects of our health. It improves the quality of your life, so try it out and see for yourself.