1. Pilates is Total Body Fitness
Pilates is a method of resistance training that strengthens and tones the entire body- not just your core. The resistance used in pilates comes from springs attached to specially designed pilates equipment, as well as your own body weight.
2. Pilates creates Long & Lean muscles
Since the resistance in pilates is provided by springs, there is equal emphasis on both the concentric and eccentric phase of the muscular contraction. This results in “strength without bulk” – long, lean muscles that are less prone to injury.
3. Pilates builds a balanced body
Pilates trains the body as an integrated whole. No muscle group is overtrained or undertrained. Workouts are designed with an equal emphasis on strength, flexibility and functional fitness. The result is a more balanced body able to perform daily tasks, sports, and other activities with greater ease and enjoyment.
4. Pilates Strengthens the Core
This is perhaps the most well-known benefit of pilates. The core consists of the deep muscles of the back, abdomen, and the pelvic floor. These muscles are responsible for stabilizing the pelvis and spine during movement and play an important role in preventing back pain. In pilates, you are taught to engage the core each time a movement or exercise is performed.
5. Pilates creates Strong, Flat Abdominal Wall
This is actually a side benefit of properly strengthening the core, but we’re not complaining! In pilates, we target the Transversus Abdominus. This is the deepest abdominal muscle that lies closest to your organs – UNDERNEATH the Rectus Abdominus (the “6-pack” muscle) and your Obliques. When you learn to properly activated and strengthen your Transversus Abdominus, it acts like a corset, flattening the abdominal wall to stabilize and support the spine.
6. Pilates Improves Posture
Good posture is a result of optimal alignment of the bones of your skeleton supported by specific muscle groups whose primary function is stabilization. Pilates teaches you the fundamentals of proper alignment which are then reinforced as new exercises are added. This is beneficial because a lot of the chronic pain, stress or tension that we feel in our bodies is a result of poor posture brought about by the sedentary (though wonderfully convenient) nature of modern day life.
7. Pilates improves Balance and Coordination
Pilates trains several muscle groups at once in smooth, continuous movements. This teaches your body to move in safer, more efficient movement patterns and improves both balance and coordination —-which is invaluable for sports performance, injury prevention and the demands of everyday life.
8. Pilates helps promote Mindfulness
When Joseph Pilates first created his exercise method (known as “Contrology” in his day), he incorporated the key principles of “centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow.” By incorporating these principles into each workout, we are focusing our attention on the movement or task at hand which integrates the mind and body, promotes mindfulness, and reduces stress.
9. Pilates Improves Flexibility
“We’ve all heard the saying that “Sitting is the new smoking.” Regular practice of pilates dramatically improves the range of motion available at our joints and helps stretch chronically tight muscles created by sedentary lifestyles.
10. Pilates Increases Energy and Makes you Feel Good
We are meant to move! Like all exercise, pilates get the body moving, stimulates the nervous system, clears the mind, and floods the body with endorphins—happiness hormones that reduce stress and make us feel good!
11. Pilates is a highly adaptable & progressive mode of exercise
With thousands of possible exercises and modifications, pilates workouts can be tailored to suit the needs of a wide range of participants. With each move that you master, there is another variation that is a little different and a little harder. So whether you are new to exercise or a “senior” fighting the good fight, a weekend warrior or an elite athlete, just cleared from physical therapy or a health and fitness junkie, pilates is for you. In fact, Pilates is for “Every Body”!