Pilates is a body conditioning regimen founded by Joseph Pilates nearly ninety years ago. Its long-lasting popularity is a true indication of how effective this exercise is for all body types, conditions and all ages. Pilates will help you look and feel your very best, and most importantly, be at your healthiest. Here are ten reasons to include Pilates as part of your workout routine.
It is a Mind-Body Workout
Breathing is one of the principles of Pilates. It helps you through the workout, concentrating on smooth and fluid movements. A correct breathing technique is essential so movements can be performed powerfully as your mind concentrates on how your body feels and moves.
Strong and Lean Muscles
Lengthening and toning muscles is another benefit of Pilates. As muscles become stronger, the results are muscles looking lean as opposed to bulky. Muscle elasticity means your body is less prone to injury, and joints feel fluid and mobile.
Building a strong core, or Powerhouse is the foundation of any Pilates study. Working from the deepest abdominal muscles and muscles closest to the spine contributes to a healthy and strong back and shoulder girdle.
Conditioning and strengthening your body for sports, helps to prevent sports related injuries. Many sports utilize the same muscles with the same, repetitive movement. This can weaken muscles that are not used enough causing imbalances within the body. Using the same muscles repeatly will contribute to muscles becoming strained and sore. Pilates can restore balances the musculature of your body. A balanced body will aid in better performance and allow you enjoy sports and daily activities with greater ease and less chance of injury.
Pilates trains you to move in a safer and more efficient manner. Muscles will work in unison. This is important for better posture, graceful movement, and enhance sports performance.
Confidence and Self Assurance
It is a challenging workout. Because Pilates provides gentle movements, there is a great feeling of accomplishment when a workout is over. As you feel your body responding to the conditioning, you can’t help but let that feeling of accomplishment overflow into your every day life and attitude.
You are always encouraged to work at your level without causing any pain or discomfort to the body. Intensity can increase as your body becomes more flexible and strength improves. A “no pain, no gain” attitude does not exist in the world of Pilates.
Flexibility in our spine is very important. As we age the stiffer it seems to get. The spine should be able to move forward, backward, sideways and twist to the left and right. If it is restricted in any of these movements the surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments can become ‘frozen’. At that point functioning normally becomes very difficult. Pilates improves posture by restoring balance within the muscles of the spine and increase mobility within the vertebrae. Joseph Pilates said, “If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old; if it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.”
No strain on the joints
During a workout, your own body weight is used to create resistance, Muscles are strengthened without undue stress, especially on your elbows and wrists. Many of the exercises are performed in a sitting or reclining position, resulting in a low impact on the joints.
Best of All…..A Flat Belly
The main focus is on the abdominals. These muscles are worked in every exercise. As a result of such conditioning the muscles are toned over time which results in a tighter, flatter stomach. Most importantly, it’s the deep abdominal muscles that help to support your spine that benefit from Pilates and so help keep us standing tall as we age.