Originally developed in the early 1900’s, Pilates is a form of low-impact exercise that improves flexibility and builds strength through slow and controlled movements. Not only does this type of exercise help to develop and stabilize your core muscles, but it also can be a great way for athletes in any sport to cross train as it emphasizes alignment and muscular balance.
Here are 5 key benefits and reasons why you might want to consider adding this workout into your exercise regime.
1. The Mind-Body Connection
Few people realize how big a role breathing plays in translating the energy from exercise into positive mental wellness. In Pilates, you focus on breathing patterns, placement of the spine and pelvis, along with coordination of movements. This combination truly aligns your body with your mind, allowing you to reap benefits far beyond just becoming stronger.
2. Build Core Strength
Almost every single movement in Pilates is designed to utilize your core abdominal muscles. Having a solid core isn’t just good for show, it also helps bring your spine into a neutral position. The better alignment in your back will help prevent back pain, relieve stress, and assist in breathing. (We already told you why that is important!)
3. With Great Strength Comes Great Flexibility
Much like with Yoga, Pilates helps build strength while increasing flexibility. Flexibility is often sacrificed in strength building workouts, but not in Pilates, you get the best of both worlds. Pilates movements will improve elasticity in your muscles and increase the mobility of your joints, all while making you stronger. This brings a healthy overall balance to your body which has some unexpected benefits. (Hint: See Below!)
4. Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation
In Pilates, we work to lengthen strong, short muscles and build long, weak muscles. Obtaining better balance in the body helps a great deal in the prevention of injuries in your day-to-day life. Pilates can be tailored to your specific injury by utilizing many of the available modifications. This allows you to really focus on problem areas and slowly work to regain strength and flexibility in the affected areas.
5. Low Impact & Challenging
Unlike most conventional workouts Pilates is completely safe for the body. Because most movements are performed lying down or sitting, it ends up being much more gentle on your muscles and joints. However, it can still be extremely challenging because it can target specific muscles that we do not often use throughout the course of our daily lives.
Pilates is a unique workout that you should definitely consider adding to your exercise regimen!
March 31, 2016