Are you looking for a way to get fit and stay healthy? Have you heard of Pilates but aren’t sure if it’s right for you? Wondering if Pilates really works?
Pilates is an effective workout that improves strength, posture and flexibility. It also helps to improve balance, reduce stress and build endurance. Regular practice of Pilates will help you to become stronger and more agile while increasing muscle tone and improving coordination.
We’ll explore the best Pilates benefits and how to do it, so that you can start your journey to a healthier, happier life.|
Read on to learn more about the amazing power of Pilates!
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses on strengthening the core, improving posture and balance, and increasing flexibility. It was developed by German-born Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s and has since become popular around the world due to its beneficial effects on physical health.
It provides muscle-strengthening benefits and works on the stabilization of joints, as well as smaller muscle groups that helps give us muscle definition.
It is important to note that Pilates may not be the best way to lose weight, because the focus is on making the muscles stronger instead of burning calories.
Pilates is a popular workout because it has been proven to improve overall wellbeing as well as general fitness.
It can help reduce back pain and other ailments associated with poor posture or strenuous exercise routines. It can also help improve balance, which is important for those wanting to get fit without risking injury during activity. It can increase strength without over-exerting the body.
Furthermore, many celebrities swear by Pilates due to its effectiveness in sculpting their bodies so it’s no surprise that more people are taking up this form of exercise!
What are the benefits of doing Pilates?
The benefits of doing Pilates are numerous and varied, here are the top 9:
1. Improved Body Posture
Pilates focuses on the full body’s alignment, ideal range of motion at the joints, and a balance of all opposing muscles. It improves posture by bringing awareness to your alignment and strengthening neglected postural muscles.
Practicing Pilates regularly can help improve your posture by strengthening neglected postural muscles, increasing overall body awareness and balance, reducing pain associated with bad posture , and improving overall health and fitness levels .
2. Increased Strength and Muscle Tone
Pilates exercises strengthen muscles by using a type of muscle contraction called an eccentric contraction. This type of contraction occurs when you extend the muscle under tension, and it helps develop muscular endurance and strength.
By doing Pilates exercises regularly, you can strengthen your upper body, lower body, and abdominal muscles. Enduring this type of workout over time can also help improve posture and balance as well as promote overall health and wellbeing.
3. Improved Balance and Stability
Pilates improves balance and stability through core strengthening, as well as its focus on alignment and whole body exercises. It requires more thought than other workouts that rely on only repetition, which has the added benefit of keeping the mind active and alert.
Some exercises within Pilates are more complex because they are based upon the introduction of a more complicated concept than simple physical movement, requiring coordination to flow properly.
Strengthening your core and using gentle limb motions can help improve your balance quickly.
Additionally, Pilates exercises can help improve one’s overall stability which is beneficial for everyday activities involving nonlinear movements such as walking or reaching up to twist.
4. Reduced Muscle Soreness
Pilates has been shown to be a safe, effective treatment for fibromyalgia symptoms. Studies have found that it can reduce anxiety, fatigue, and depressive symptoms as well as release negative thought patterns.
By exercising with Pilates regularly, individuals with fibromyalgia can reduce their muscle soreness by releasing tension from the body through circular sequences and patterns.
5. Increased Cardiovascular Fitness
Pilates helps increase cardiovascular fitness by focusing on breath, which stimulates feel-good hormones, oxygen flow, and blood circulation. Additionally, Pilates is low impact and rarely leaves the practitioner feeling fatigued. Instead it provides a boost of energy that helps improve cardiorespiratory capacity.
6. Improved Breathing Technique
Pilates focuses on breath to improve cardiorespiratory capacity, stimulate feel-good hormones, increase oxygen flow and blood circulation, and reduce stress.
Through this inward focus on breath and body awareness, practitioners of Pilates can improve their breathing technique. This helps them increase their stamina and decrease fatigue during exercise sessions.
7. Improved Concentration and Focus
Pilates can improve concentration and focus by creating an inward focus and using breath work to down-regulate the nervous system. This reduces stress levels over time, lowers cortisol levels, and brings the body into a state of relaxation. Studies have also shown improved cognitive functioning after Pilates training due to increased neuron development, blood flow to the brain, increased neurotransmitters and longevity of neurons responsible for learning, memory and executive thinking.
8. Reduced Back Pain
Pilates can help reduce back pain by strengthening and relaxing the muscles, improving posture, and providing body awareness.
This leads to reduced pressure on the lower back, improved digestion and breathing abilities, and reduced likelihood of slouching against furniture or other objects.
9. Increased Core Strength
Pilates promotes the strength and endurance of core muscles through a variety of abdominal exercises.
By doing Pilates regularly, people can improve their posture and strengthen their core muscles. This will reduce the tension that people build up when they sit at a desk all the time.
For even more see: 23 benefits of Pilates
Getting Started with Pilates
With regular practice of Pilates exercises, individuals can experience improved physical health and mental wellbeing.
Step 1: Choose your Pilates exercise
Pilates exercises can be divided into three main types: core exercises, mat exercises, and machine-based exercises. Core exercises focus on strengthening the abdominal muscles and other core muscles. Mat exercises are typically done on a mat or carpeted floor and involve a series of movements that target the entire body. Machine-based exercises are performed on special Pilates machines that provide added resistance through spring systems or other mechanisms. Choosing one type of Pilate’s exercise over another depends on your fitness level, goals, and personal preferences.
Step 2: Find a way to safely practice your Pilates exercise
- Find a space with plenty of space and good light. Set the vibe by playing some music and lighting a scented candle.
- Put on an outfit you would wear to the studio, connect with others through social media, and record your workout for motivation and tracking purposes (unsure what to wear? see CLOT).
- Start with one or two sessions per week, progressing up to an hour as you get stronger and more confident in your moves (with guidance from an instructor).
- Ensure that you have proper form by learning how to do each move correctly before practicing on your own or through an online platform; look for instructors who are officially certified.
Step 3: Subscribe to my YouTube channel
I’ve got over 100 FREE workout available on my YouTube channel and I aim to release a new workout each week! Give my beginners workout a try:
Step 4: Practice makes perfect
Don’t expect to master Pilates quickly, it’s one of those activities that is easy to get in to but takes time and practice to progress.
Do a session at least once a week, if you’re able to try and do a session with a professionally qualified instructor and if you want to do some more you can follow my YouTube workouts.
In time you will feel how resular workout are helping to strengthen abdominal and back muscles as well as improve posture which can reduce back pain.
Plus, practising exercise regularly can help improve overall health by increasing circulation of oxygenated blood throughout the body leading to better energy levels.
Step 5: Keep track of your progress over time
Our bodies change over periods of time so it’s important to keep track of your progress. Take photos of yourself in the same position each week and compare them to see how your body is changing.
You can also keep track of your progress by noting down how many reps you can do for each exercise, or how long it takes you to complete a session.
For more guidance see: How to track your Pilates progress
Step 6: Get feedback from your instructor
A good instructor will provide you with feedback on your performance over time, what needs to be addressed etc.
This feedback can help you to identify areas of improvement and ensure that you are getting the most out of your Pilates practice.
Additionally, having an instructor who is familiar with your progress can help to motivate you and keep you on track.
Finally, don’t forget to take breaks when needed. Pilates is a form of exercise that should be done in moderation, so make sure to rest when necessary.
Step 7: Enjoy your new healthy lifestyle!
Pilates is a great way to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Not only will you be strengthening your core muscles, but you will also be improving your posture, balance and flexibility.
As you progress with Pilates, you will find that it becomes an enjoyable part of your daily routine.
A good quality of life is essential for physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It allows us to enjoy our daily activities, have meaningful relationships with others, and feel a sense of purpose and satisfaction in life. Having a good quality of life can help reduce stress levels, improve self-esteem, and increase overall happiness.
Ultimately, having a good quality of life helps us live longer and more fulfilling lives.
What is the difference between Pilates and other types of workouts?
Pilates is a type of exercise that focuses on building functional strength, improving balance and core stability. It uses a series of controlled movements that flow into one another with precision, requiring focus on breathing and cultivating a mind-body connection.
Exercises are often repeated in sets to target specific muscle groups without exhausting them. Special equipment, such as spring-based resistance machines, may be used to help the spine stay straight.
Other types of workouts such as yoga focus more on mobility and stretching, with slower movements that aim to improve overall flexibility. Yoga also promotes mindfulness through meditation or other forms of relaxation techniques while Pilates emphasizes breathing control during movement.
How does Pilates help with posture?
Pilates helps improve posture by bringing awareness to your alignment and strengthening neglected postural muscles.
It focuses on the full body’s alignment, ideal range of motion at the joints, and balance of opposing muscles.
By practicing Pilates regularly, you can strengthen your core muscles which support good posture and help eliminate back pain.
What type of equipment is used for Pilates?
In general you just need a mat, but there are optional items you can make use of as you progress.
The most popular piece of equipment is the reformer, which is a sleek pulley system consisting of a sliding carriage and springs with varying degrees of tension.
Other common pieces include sliders, hand weights, exercise balls and mats.
See: Home Pilates Equipment Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started