What are the benefits of Pilates?
Many people are unfortunately still not sure what Pilates even is, while those who do tend to be Pilates addicts and say it has helped improve all other activities in daily life! If you have never stepped foot into a Pilates studio there is tons of research out there that recommends you should, and here’s just a few reasons why….
Flat toned tummy
Pilates focuses on your core strength more than any other workout. A study by Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise showed that after 36 weeks of Pilates training, women strengthened their rectus abdominis muscles (the six pack) more than 21%, while eliminating muscle imbalances between the right and left sides of their core. Pilates teaches you a special way of engaging your stomach muscles that help you tone up the lower tummy, which is often a challenging area to strengthen.
Relieve back pain
While it is nice to achieve a toned flat stomach, Pilates also strengths the deeper muscles of the core and back, which when weak are often associated with chronic lower back pain. Through careful controlled isolated movement, you learn how to engage the smaller and deeper muscles in your body. This takes pressure off the joints relieving unnecessary tension, protects your joints, and helps improves your biomechanics. According to a study in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, people with chronic lower back pain who practiced Pilates for just four weeks, experienced more relief than those who visited a physician and other specialists.
Improve your posture
The way we move speaks louder than words! Pilates teaches you a whole new body language. Being aware of how you hold yourself is 90% of the challenge in looking better and feeling great. The detail to alignment and precision in Pilates, will transform your body in ways you never knew could, allowing you to move effortlessly and achieve an elegant posture.
Gain long, lean muscles and flexibility
Most exercise methods use heavy weights and tend to build short bulky muscles that can often lead to injury. Pilates lengthens the muscles while its strengthens, creating that lean toned muscle definition like a dancer. A body with balanced strength and better joint mobility (flexibility) is more agile and efficient, and less likely to be injured.
Pilates is for everyone!
Wether you are an athlete, a new mum, or recovering from an injury, Pilates can help you achieve your goals. As it is a low impact exercise method, offering modifications and high attention to technique, it is a safe way to build strength and challenging in all the right ways.
These are just some of the benefits of Pilates, there are plenty more including pelvic floor strength, healing abdominal separation after birth, and improving bone density in osteoporotic people. The best way to find out is to try a class yourself!