Updated: Oct 16, 2019
Pilates is a series of about 500 exercises inspired by calisthenics, yoga and ballet. Pilates lengthens and stretches all the major muscle groups in the body in a balanced fashion. It improves flexibility, strength, balance and body awareness.
Pilates can be an aerobic and non-aerobic form of exercise. It requires concentration and focus, because you move your body through precise ranges of motion. Pilates lengthens and stretches all the major muscle groups in your body in a balanced fashion. It requires concentration in finding a centre point to control your body through movement. Each exercise has a prescribed placement, rhythm and breathing pattern. Here are our top 10 benefits you should know about:
10 Benefits of Pilates
1. Pilates Is Whole-Body Fitness
Pilates does not over-develop some parts of the body and neglect others. While Pilates training focuses on core strength, it trains the body as an integrated whole.
2. Pilates suitable for everyone Pilates caters for everyone, from beginner to advanced. You can perform exercises using your own body weight, or with the help of various pieces of equipment.
3. Pilates Creates Strength Without Bulk Long, lean muscles are the name of the game here. In Pilates, you are not looking to build muscles for show. You are building toned muscles that work perfectly within the context of the body as a whole, and the functional fitness needs of a person as they move through life.
4. Pilates Increases Flexibility In Pilates, we work toward a safe increase in length and stretch of the muscles and range of motion within the joints. You won't find quite as much "pretzel logic" in Pilates as you might in yoga, but a body that can stretch and bend to meet the flow of life is a very realistic goal.
5. Pilates Develops Core Strength The core muscles of the body are the deep muscles of the back, abdomen, and pelvic floor. These are the muscles we rely on to support a strong, supple back, good posture, and efficient movement patterns. When the core is strong, the frame of the body is supported. This means the neck and shoulders can relax, and the rest of the muscles and joints are freed to do their jobs, not more.
6. Pilates Improves Posture Good posture is a reflection of good alignment supported by a strong core. It is a position from which one can move freely. Starting with Pilates movement fundamentals and moving through mat and equipment exercises, Pilates trains the body to express itself with strength and harmony. You can see this in the beautiful posture of those who practice Pilates.
7. No Pressure on Your Knees and Joints Since Pilates consists of slow and controlled movement, there is minimal impact on your joints. This is naturally ideal for those who cannot (or do not) want to take part in high-impact sports and exercises.
8. Pilates Increases Energy It might seem like a paradox, but the more you exercise, the more energy you have and the more you feel like doing (to a point, of course). Pilates gets the breath and circulation moving, stimulates the spine and muscles, and floods the body with the good feelings one gets from exercising the whole body. Get started with this quick workout or a 5-minute Pilates pick-up.
9. Pilates Improves Concentration An important part of Pilates is that it pushes you to focus on your body, full breathing, and how they all work and move together. It is with focus and concentration that you are more likely to benefit from the exercise.
10. Improves Your Sex Life There are several exercises which mimic the similar action of the Kegel exercise (which strengthens the pelvic floor muscles and consequently supports the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum). Exercises which involve lifting your pelvic floor strengthen those muscles, which can increase your pleasure in the bedroom.
Types of Pilates
1. Mat-based Pilates
This is a series of exercises performed on the floor using gravity and your own body weight to provide resistance. The main aim is to condition the deeper, supporting muscles of your body to improve posture, balance and coordination
2. Equipment-based Pilates
This includes specific equipment that works against spring-loaded resistance, including the ‘reformer’, which is a moveable carriage that you push and pull along its tracks. Some forms of Pilates include weights (such as dumbbells) and other types of small equipment that offer resistance to the muscles.
At Balanced Mind and Body Yoga we teach Pilates mat classes. For more information email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT OUR TEACHERS
Based in Marbella, Spain and originally from Australia, Susan holds a RYT 200 hours certification with Yoga Alliance and is currently completing her 500 hours.
Susan teachers Vinyasa, Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra and Pilates. With an emphasis on balancing the physical, mental and emotional state through a guided practice.