If you’re wondering what the benefits of Pilates are and are looking for a good reason to start; you’re in luck, because there are many.
Pilates is a form of exercise similar to yoga, involving a series of movements which concentrates on core strength, posture, balance and flexibility. It uses a form of 500 exercises inspired by calisthenics, yoga and ballet to help lengthen and stretch all major muscle groups in the body in a balanced manner, whilst also improving flexibility, strength, balance, sleep and body awareness.
Practising Pilates on a regular basis provides plenty of well-rounded benefits that anyone at any age can tailor for themselves. Through controlled and progressive movements, you can reshape your body, as Pilates brings attention to core support and full body fitness without overdeveloping some parts of the body and neglecting others.
Another great benefit of Pilates is that it makes you stop and think about what you’re doing. As Pilates requires thought on the intricate movements, focus is pulled to the present, breathing patterns and the physical body. By focusing the mind, regulating your breath and making use of internal resistance, it’s an extremely powerful way to tone the body. It’s also a gentle workout and a reason why Pilates is so popular in rehabilitation.
Types of Pilates
There are two basic forms of Pilates, the mat-based and equipment-based.
This is a series of exercises performed on the floor using gravity and your own body weight for resistance training. The main aim is to condition the deeper, supporting muscles of your body to improve posture, balance and co-ordination.
This is a series of exercises called ‘reformer Pilates’ involving specific spring-loaded equipment to work against resistance. This equipment is called a ‘reformer’, which is a moveable carriage that you push and pull along its tracks. Some forms of Pilates also include weights (such as dumbbells) and other types of small equipment to offer muscle resistance.
What are the Health Benefits of Pilates
- Improves flexibility.
- Increased muscle strength and tone (especially in abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks).
- Balanced muscular strength on both sides of your body.
- Enhanced muscular control of your back and limbs.
- Improved stabilisation of your spine.
- Improved posture.
- Rehabilitation or prevention co-ordination and balance.
- Relaxation of the muscles in your shoulders, neck and upper back.
- A safe method of rehabilitation for joints and spinal injuries.
- Increased lung capacity and circulation though deep breathing.
- Improved concentration and body awareness.
- Stress management and relaxation.