What Is Pilates:
What is Pilates? Well, quite simply, if you’re looking for an additional way to exercise, strengthen up your core, and toning your body, look no further then Pilates. Surely, you’ve heard about Pilates. However, what exactly does Pilates entail? How does one get started?
Leave it to us as well explain. Furthermore, how Pilates can help improve your fitness levels and overall health. With it’s versatility, Pilates can even be paired with other exercises. Similarly to a fusion type exercise experience.
What is Pilates?
Pilates was developed in the early 20th century. Pilates focuses on improving flexibility and increasing muscle strength/tone, while still be a practical and low impact process. Low impact doesn’t mean easy. In fact, Pilates can certainly pack a powerful punch!
Practitioners of Pilates focus on posture, breathing, muscle strength, endurance, and muscle alignment. This focus, along with low impact movements, helps build muscular endurance and improve overall body strength.
Pilates has many uses. Athletes, fitness enthusiasts of all sorts, participate to help enhance their body’s performance level. Oftentimes, it’s versatility lends itself to aiding in recovery processes of sports-related injuries. Coupled with other rehab, it can help recovery time and improve end-results.
What causes such injuries anyhow? Oftentimes, it’s a result of sports, or related to other traumatic events. However, the culprit could also be muscular imbalances. For example, the way we walk, bend over, sit, lie down, or work out. In addition, not balancing our workouts to focus on adjunct muscle groups.
Consequently, adjunct muscles become imbalanced. Critical components of Pilates involve strengthening deep core muscles, muscles surrounding the pelvic area, and muscles surrounding the spine.
How Can Pilates Benefit You?
You may choose to go the Pilates route for various reasons. Nowadays there are seemingly endless tutorials on all kinds of styles of exercise. Thus, making learning the craft easier then ever before. Pilates can be beneficial for many reasons. Ultimately heling to support a healthy lifestyle, both with a strong body and mind.
Pilates Improves Your Flexibility:
Oftentimes, Pilates is utilized to improve mobility and flexibility. Like practices, such as yoga, consistency is key. You’ll want to create a healthy balance from an intensity and variability standpoint, to achieve the best results.
A study done in 2011, showed statistical significance in active middle aged men and women (who participated in a 12-week long Pilates program) in abdominal endurance, hamstring flexibility, and upper body muscular endurance.
The above men and women only participated in a 60 minute routine, 2 times per week, for those 12 weeks. Thus, might suggest that even with relatively low intensity workouts, middle aged individuals have the ability to increase these variables of fitness.
Pilates Strengthens and Balances Your Whole Body:
Some exercises are known to be practical ways of toning up and strengthening areas of the body. Pilates is different. In fact, not only does it improve core strength, but it promotes strength, flexibility and balance throughout the body. In addition, Pilates also has a focus on breathing. Particularly, during the exhalation phase. Again, with it’s focus being on activation of core muscles.
Not only can Pilates be advantageous from the aspect of routine versatility, but age and gender. Pilates can accommodate this do to the fact of particular exercise modification. If you’re looking for a low impact style of exercise, coupled with a further ability to modify movement, Pilates may just be your answer.
Truly, Pilates is well-rounded, able to focus on enhancing and supporting safe exercise routines for anyone. Like yoga, their can be both a physical and mental side of Pilates.
To understand the broad reach and potential of Pilates, we offer this piece of research. A study in 2017, referenced prior studies proving that Pilates improved physical function in stroke patients with reduced independence. In addition, the study referenced Pilates as a viable exercise program to improve overall quality of life in stroke patients.
Pilates is a Low Impact Exercise:
As a low impact exercise, Pilates is ideal for people with arthritis, injuries, or other knee and joint issues. Pilates is by no means an easy workout. In fact, this type of exercise can get quite challenging! However, Pilates does well at keeping practitioner mind and body strong, even with physical limitations.
Pilates is low impact. Consequently, it puts less pressure on joints, like the hips. In fact, Pilates is recommended by doctors to ease symptoms of arthritis and joint pain, over other types of more rigorous exercises.
This, likely do to the emphasis on stabilizing and strengthen smaller muscles surrounded said joints. Pilates can improve stability, joint flexibility, and can even lower your risk for future injuries.
Pilates Improves Your Posture & Can Help Manage Back Pain:
Finally, Pilates can help improve or maintain your posture. How does this happen, you may ask?
Your muscles all have an optimal length-tension relationship to make for better cohesion and alignment, or good posture. Spine Universe states that indeed habitual bad posture can cause chronic back pain. Pilates is a resource that can help improve posture, inevitably decreasing pain.
Not only is Pilates a good place to start improving posture, but because it focuses so much on core stability, you may continue to be more mindful of your posture going forward.
When you have better core strength, mobility, and flexibility it’s certainly easier to hold you body upright. Thus, resisting the natural downward pull from gravity.
Pilates may even be a preparatory exercise programs for more intense high impact exercises. For example, like running, weight training, or intricate maneuvers you may find in practices, such as yoga.
A systematic review was conducted in 2015 suggested the Pilates method is more effective then minimal physical exercise in reducing back pain.
What is Pilates Good For?
Even though having a focus on the core, Pilates is an overall body workout. Meaning you can certainly keep on burning those calories throughout the duration of a routine.
The more you work at it, like other exercise regimens, the more fat you’ll burn. (Along with a healthy diet that is). Consistency is key. Are you going to lose the same amount of calories as doing a rigorous 30-miute exercise as versus 30-minute Pilates, probably not. However, Pilates coupled with healthy eating, certainly you can reach some awesome goals.
As beforementioned, Pilates can be a great way to prep for more vigorous exercises. Once your body is in better positioning and balance, naturally this will help in future training programs, muscle building, and injury prevention.
Helps Prevent Injury and Helps You Recover From Injury:
If you are prone to injury or recovering from an injury, Pilates is a good option. Due to it’s low impact nature, and ability to help realign and strengthen smaller muscle groups, it can help with recovery. Furthermore, it can help prevent future injuries. If you are rebuilding joints, muscles, or other injuries, Pilates is recommended for many recovery programs. Pilates helps stabilize joints, increase flexibility, ROM, and build muscular endurance.
* As always, it’s important to check with your doctor (and/or your physical therapist) to make sure your body is ready for thisregimen!
Pilates is used in rehab centers. However, tailoring it to your bodies needs is important. Engaging in Pilates with a professional will create the most successful outcomes!
Enhance Your Fitness Performance:
We’ve certainly dwelled over this point today, Pilates is used to help increase muscle tone, joint flexibility, and overall mobility. Increases in these areas of fitness helps not just boost overall performance, but have positive implications on daily living movement and comfort.
As a result, many serious athletes and fitness enthusiasts use Pilates as a way to enhance their physical fitness and performance levels. This is similar to the way people take up yoga as a supplemental workout.
In truth, the many benefits of Pilates can help you in other areas of fitness. From bettering recovery times, core strength, to increased joint stability, anyone can add Pilates to their every health practice.
Who Can Practice Pilates & Final Thoughts?
Oftentimes, individuals are intimidated by Pilates. Of course, serious athletes and fitness lovers enjoy the practice, but this certainly doesn’t mean that people of any age, gender, and fitness level can’t and won’t be successful.
Pilates can be adapted to fit your needs and physical abilities. It’s not about being strong enough or physically fit enough, but about how can you modify things to meet your needs and help you grow.