Why Pilates is So Popular and What it Can Do For You




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Over the last decade Pilates has grown in popularity to the point where I’m having to put new clients on a waiting list. It seems that everyone, no matter their age, gender, or fitness level, is looking to adopt Pilates into their lives, but why is Pilates so popular?

Pilates is popular because it offers a wide range of benefits, can be done by everyone and is affordable and accessible. It’s a great option for those just starting out or recovering from injury, and it’s flexible nature means you can benefit from a short 10-minute blast or spend an hour giving yourself a full body workout.

And that’s just a very quick summery! There are a huge amount of benefits to incorporating Pilates into your life.

Of course in recent years there has been a surge in interest thanks to pandemic related lockdowns.  As people were forced out of gyms and asked to stay at home many searched for a way to maintain an exercise schedule, and Pilates is perfect for home workouts.

What are the benefits of Pilates?

There are many benefits to Pilates, here are the ones I believe make it so popular:

It’s a low-impact exercise: Low Impact Exercise (LIE) is any activity that causes no damage to the muscles, which is good for those who are just starting out or who have joint problems.

Improves movement: Pilates focuses on improving flexibility, alignment, and strength–all key components for a healthy body.

Good for busy people: Pilates workouts can last 10 minutes to an hour, which makes them convenient for people with busy schedules.

Improves core muscles: Pilates exercises typically target your core muscles; but because they’re such a versatile exercise program, they also work other areas of your body as well.

No specialist equipment required: Pilates is a full-body workout that doesn’t require any special equipment, which means you can do it almost anywhere at anytime.

Accessible: Perhaps most importantly in terms of popularity, Pilates is affordable and accessible to everyone. It’s one of the cheapest exercise options in the health industry and there are studios all around the world that offer classes at various times throughout the day.

I love that people come to me to learn Pilates and will then ask me what they can do at home, when at work or when on holiday. It’s so versatile!

They love the benefits of improved posture, increased mobility, and better core strength. In addition, people who practice Pilates often report improved functional movement.

In case you’ve not heard that term before, functional movement is the ability to move through our everyday lives with ease and without pain. 

Pilates also offers mental health benefits in addition to physical exercise, with some of my clients specifically requesting a morning session as they’ve found they have improved focus for the rest of the day.

What makes Pilates different from other forms of exercise?

One of the things that makes Pilates, so popular is that it can be tailored to fit anyone’s needs. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced athlete, Pilates can help you achieve your fitness goals.

In addition, Pilates is non-competitive and challenging, which is why it’s enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels.

Due to the accessible nature it’s tempting to start your journey at home, following along to a video.  I always recommend that you visit a professional Pilates instructor at the start of your Pilates adventure. They’ll carefully observe you during class to make sure you’re performing the exercises correctly and without causing yourself injury.

Remember that your routine should never cause pain. If something feels wrong, stop doing the exercise and let your teacher know, and they can ensure you’re doing it correctly and provide modifications to address the problem.

Once you’ve got the hang of the basics you’ll feel more confident in practising outside of class, and, unlike a lot of fitness exercises, Pilates really can be done almost anywhere!

How can Pilates help improve my flexibility?

One of the main popular benefits of Pilates is that it can improve flexibility.

This is because Pilates focuses on muscle control, which helps to improve range of motion and joint flexibility.

In our everyday lives we often don’t use our full range of motion, especially if sat at a desk or driving.  Our bodies adapt to this lack of movement by becoming less flexible.  Pilates counters this and helps ensure you maintain a good quality of live.

Here is a workout I created specifically for flexibility.

What are some of the best Pilates exercises for beginners?

If you’re just starting out with Pilates, it can be tough to know where to begin, and that is why I strongly suggest booking in with a qualified instructor.

They’ll show you the basics and that allows you to then practice outside of class.  Aim for short routines and focus not on speed, but on getting all the movements correct.

Here’s a beginner workout 

These moves will help get you started on the path to a stronger, more flexible body.

These are just a few of the best exercises for beginners. With a little practice, you’ll be able to do them all like a pro!

How can Pilates help me to strengthen my core?

One of the other key reasons for the popularity of Pilates is how it contributes to a stronger core.

Having a strong core means being able to perform basic daily tasks such as walking upstairs, bending over to tie shoelaces, lifting heavy objects – even moving furniture around!

A strong physical core is essential for a healthy lifestyle. The human body needs a solid base to stand on, so it’s important to build a strong core. This includes having a strong back, legs, arms, shoulders, chest, abdomen, and hips. These areas provide stability and strength to the rest of the body.

If building strength in your core sounds interesting, I’ve the perfect mat Pilates class for you.

Is Pilates safe for everyone?

When taking up a new form of exercise to improve your physical health, it’s important to consider if it is suitable for you.

In general Pilates is safe for everyone and should not cause any injuries. However, if you experience pain after practising Pilates, stop immediately and seek medical attention.

However, there are some groups of people who should be careful of taking up Pilates. Those with inflammatory diseases, osteoporosis, severe spinal deformity or other health complications should all seek professional advice before taking up Pilates.

What should I expect from a Pilates class?

If you’re curious about Pilates, you might be wondering what to expect from a class. The good news is that classes vary depending on the instructor, but they typically start with basic movements and progress to more challenging ones.

Modifications are always offered so people of all abilities can take part, and participants can expect to be a little sore after class despite the fact that Pilates focuses on smaller muscle groups.

If you’re unable to visit a class in person you can always try out an online class. Here is an example of one of my Zoom classes.

Final thought

The popularity of Pilates looks set to continue increasing.  From beginners to professional athletes, everyone can benefit from incorporating Pilates workout routines into their life. 

And of course if you go to a group session you get to meet new people and form new friendships. Never discount how important social interaction is on your mental well-being.

As with anything in the fitness industry, taking up Pilates doesn’t magically solve all your problems.  Instead, you need to approach this with the goal of reaping long-term benefits such as improved flexibility.

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