Pilates focuses on developing strength, flexibility, and body awareness. Pilates is not focused on building muscles but rather on overall physical wellbeing. Its creator, Joseph Pilates, wanted a form of exercise that linked mental and physical health, and developed a form of exercise that trained the whole body. Pilates is now practiced by millions of people worldwide.
The core elements of Pilates are focused on core muscle strength and spinal alignment. Loosely speaking, the core muscles are the back, spine, hips, abs, and the muscles that surround these areas. During a Pilates session the instructor will ask participants to focus on core muscles and breathing. Instructors are usually more concerned about quality of movement rather than quantity. The objective is training your mind and body to bring many benefits:
Pilates practitioners become aware of their bodies over the course of their practice. When performed correctly, Pilates can make you aware of how you sit, stand or move, and how these habits relate to the aches and pains we experience every day. For example, it can make you aware of the twinge you feel in your back when you sit in front of your PC every day in a slouched manner. Practicing Pilates will correct this so when you sit, you will automatically do so erectly so that core muscles are supporting the entire body.
Better muscle tone
Since Pilates focuses on using the core muscles, you can expect improved muscle tone with continuous practice. Think of your body as a tree, strength is not found in the branches but is found in its trunk and roots. This is the aim of Pilates - better muscle tone so that the core muscles can support the weight of the whole body.
Improved mental concentration
Pilates focuses on quality of movement rather than quantity. Instructors are more concerned about how you move, not on the number of repetitions. Quality demands concentration and after months of practice concentration and focus become sharper.
Practicing Pilates regularly can help improve flexibility because Pilates involves stretching muscles and joints. Expect to see an improvement in your range and motion which leads to longer and leaner muscles. This is perhaps one of the reasons why those who practice Pilates regularly are not bulky but are able to stretch their muscles fully. With Pilates you are only stretching muscles, not adding layers. This is a great way to reshape your body and achieve a lean look without adding bulk.
It must be emphasized that Pilates is not a calorie buster, however a 165 pound adult woman can still burn up to 480 calories during one hour of advanced Pilates. This means is can be a great exercise for those looking to lose weight who also mix in cardio training too..
Good complimentary exercise
Pilates is ideal for those who are recovering from an injury. It is also great for athletes who need a low impact activity that will compliment their usual training. It helps improve balance, flexibility, and strength using low impact exercises.
It's time to get excited about Pilates. The different exercises are designed to strengthen your core muscles and spine. You will notice your body changing in just a matter of months. Do you need the benefits Pilates promises? Get in touch!