Pilates (which is also called the Pilates method) is a sequence of approximately 500 exercises which was inspired by callisthenics, yoga as well as ballet. The discipline of Pilates is responsible for lengthening and stretching all the major groups of muscle in the body in a balanced manner. It improves flexibility, strength, balance as well as body awareness.
The exercise form, which we know as Pilates, was developed by Joseph Pilates. He dedicated his entire life to enhancing physical as well as mental health during the early part of the 20th century. Today, Pilates is a well-known exercise in addition to lifestyle across the globe. It’s a popular choice of exercise for hundreds of thousands of individuals.
What type of exercise is Pilates?
Pilates can be defined as an aerobic and non-aerobic method of exercising It necessitates concentration, in addition, to focus as you move your body through specific ranges of motion. As we said in the first paragraph, Pilates lengthens as well as stretches all the major groups of muscle in your body in a balanced manner. It is necessary for you to concentrate to find a centre point to control your body through exercise. Each movement has a prescribed placement, rhythm in addition to breathing pattern.
In the Pilates method, your muscles are not ever worked to exhaustion. This means that there is no sweating or, alternatively, straining. There is just intense concentration. A Pilates workout consists of a number of exercise sequences which are done in low repetitions, typically five to ten times, over a session of between 45 and 90 minutes. Mat work, in addition to particular equipment for resistance, are used.
Pilates method is instructed to suit each person. The exercises are re-evaluated regularly to ensure that they are appropriate for that person. Owing to the individualised attention, this method can suit anyone from elite athletes to people who have limited mobility, pregnant women in addition to people with low fitness levels.
The health benefits of Pilates
There are a number of health benefits of Pilates. These include the following:
- Improved flexibility
- Enhanced muscle strength as well as tone, specifically in your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks (which are called the ‘core muscles’ of your body)
- Balanced muscular strength on either side of your body
- Enhanced muscular control of your back as well as limbs
- Improved stabilisation of your spine
- Improved posture
- Rehabilitation or, alternatively, prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances
- Improved physical coordination as well as balance
- Relaxation of your shoulders, neck in addition to the upper back
- Safe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries
- Prevention of musculoskeletal injuries
- Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
- Improved concentration
- Increased body awareness
- Stress management and relaxation.
Builds core and muscle strength
Your core is the centre of your body. This means that most of our strength, if not all, originates in our core.
Because it concentrates mostly on the core, exercises during Pilates engage your abs and back. Pushing and pulling motions are used to work both sides of muscles simultaneously. This allows the muscles to lengthen and tone.
Increases flexibility, coordination and balance
Your core is also the centre of your balance and coordination. By strengthening your core, the muscles that are responsible for your balance and coordination have more control.
By lengthening your muscles, you also increase your flexibility. They become more pliable, making it easier for them to bend and stretch further than normal.
Reduces the risk of injury
Strengthening and lengthening your core and back muscles through Pilates exercises can reduce your chances of getting injured.
When your core is weak, your muscles can’t support the strain placed on them every day. This can lead to back and other injuries. By exercising them, you increase the muscles’ durability.
It is low impact
Low impact exercises are great for people who are suffering from an injury. It is also a safer workout option for pregnant women.
This is because the slow, controlled movements enable you to still exercise muscles while being aware of your body’s limitations.
It perfects posture
Like with your balance, Pilates can improve your posture by strengthening your core and back muscles.
This is particularly beneficial for people who have to carry around heavy loads daily or even individuals who sit at a desk, behind a computer, for eight hours a day.
When you strengthen your muscles, your core and back are better able to support the stress of hunching over a laptop or carrying heavy things.
Increases weight loss
One of the main reasons most people exercise is to either maintain their weight or lose weight. While Pilates focuses mostly on your core, it also exercises your entire body as we’ve said previously.
Any exercise helps you burn calories, which results in weight-loss. Pilates is no different. However, when you do Pilates regularly, not only does it help you lose weight, it also helps change the shape of your body. It tones your body by creating longer, leaner and stronger muscles.
The definition of ‘core stability’ is the ability to sustain correct spine alignment/shoulder girdle position as well as pelvic position while moving the limbs. Core muscles can approximately be split into two groups: local and global. As a general rule, surface muscles are solely responsible for large powerful movements. These muscles are referred to as global muscles.
Muscles which are deeper in the body and are closer to the vertebral column often have more subtle functions in terms of stabilising the body. These are referred to as local or stabiliser muscles and are responsible for making small adjustments to the alignment of the spine.
If it’s your dream to become a Pilates instructor, our Pilates Instructor Course at Trifocus Fitness Academy will teach you to become a sought-after Pilates teacher. For more information, please follow this link.