10 Benefits of Pilates. Pilates can not only help strengthen your power house (abdominal, low back, glutes and pelvic floor muscles). But also bring multiple other benefits to you both for your mind and body.
1 Whole Body Workout
Pilates consists of flowing functional movements which means you will be working the whole body. Pilates helps to strengthen your core, the centre of your body from where all movements stems. Pilates workouts improve core strength and is a key factor in helping to reduce back and hip pains.
Pilates classes will help to stretch and strengthen all your major muscle groups. This also improves your fluidity of movement and balance.
2 Improves Sports Performance
The physical benefits are that it brings balance to the body. The benefits of pilates once a week condition your core muscles to be neither loose, weak or rigid.
The focus is to build dynamic strength to help support and stabilise your joints during motion. Research also suggests that it is effective in reducing injury risk in sports.
3 Pilates Improves Balance and Coordination
Balance is important in whatever stage of life you are in. It is necessary for all movement from walking to running and twisting and turning. We aim to increase your body awareness giving your body stability during motion.
With regular practice, you will become stronger and develop a greater sense of balance and coordination. This is achieved through core strengthening and the focus on alignment with whole-body exercises.
4 Improves Bone Density
Bone is a dynamic tissue (like muscles) which respond well to resistance and bodyweight exercises. The majority of exercises use your body weight as resistance to strengthen tissues (bone, muscle, fascia, tendons and ligaments) whilst being low impact on your joints.
If you have reduced bone mineral density like osteopenia or osteoporosis then Pilates is a great form of exercise to help strengthen your bones in a safe and low-impact manner. Your instructors are highly skilled and will modify exercises accordingly specifically to your needs.
5 Pilates Enhances your Mind Body Connection
Mental health is probably not spoken about often enough but regular exercise does improve your mental well-being The mental benefits of pilates come from concentrating on your breathing while performing exercise movements.
Focusing on breathing whilst ensuring correct spinal and pelvic alignment helps you become more in tune with your body. With regular practice, you will develop a greater awareness of your movements and body. You are encouraged to bring your attention to different body parts and focus on how are feeling at that moment. It will also help you relax, unwind and reduce stress.
6 Reduces Back Pain
There are many studies which suggest that Pilates is a safe, effective treatment method for people with low back pain. The method uses many active rehabilitative strengthening and stretching exercises specifically core strengthening which has been shown to help reduce low back pain. A recent Cochrane review (2015) suggested Pilates is more effective than a minimal intervention for patients with low back pain disability and pain levels.
Moreover, exercises are great for your keeping your spine healthy. The meaningful movements help keep your joints mobile and intervertebral discs lubricated. In addition, exercises will have positive benefits on how you think and feel about your pain levels which are all important in injury rehabilitation.
7 Can you Lose your Belly Fat by Doing Pilates?
Health benefits, Pilates gives you the foundation to support more demanding activities. It involves muscle strengthening exercises which can contribute towards weight loss. For best results combine a healthy diet and aerobic activity (walking, cycling or swimming). To increase efficiency try pilates where there is added resistance to increase the difficulty and help burn more calories. A recent study showed an increase in Pilates activity has shown a positive reduction in weight, body mass index and fat percentages (Savkin 2017).
8 Can Pilates Change Your Body Shape?
We often get asked, “does pilates tone your body?” The simple answer is yes it does tone your body. Modern-day postures can lead to hunched shoulders and poor upper back mobility which can create muscular imbalances. It helps to proactively support demanding job roles and bad postural habits by creating better muscular balances through symmetrical exercises.
Beginners Reformer Pilates is benefical as it gives you feedback on your right alignment so you can self correct. Furthermore with regular practice this will transfer into your everyday tasks to support your active lifestyles. Improving your alignment will help reduce aches and pains, improve your breathing mechanics, digestion and make you appear slimmer.
9 Pilates and Lymphatic Drainage
Your lymphatic system is a key part of our immune system which is primarily to recognise and eliminate bodily waste and toxins. The cellular waste products are carried around the body in the lymph fluid (similar to blood) into the lymph nodes. However unlike your blood circulatory system there is no heart to pump blood around your body. The lymphatic system requires muscular contractions, breathing and good digestion to flow around the body.
The lymph movement is important for a functioning immune system and getting rid of waste and toxins from your body. Exercise is the best form of lymphatic drainage and Pilates is unique as it focuses of moving joints in different planes with twisting and rotating movements. The main lymph nodes are located by your joints so flowing movements which articulate these joints will theoretically help with your lymphatic drainage and help optimise your immune system.
10 Boosts Energy Levels
Exercise boosts your body’s fitness level and energy levels. When you are exercising you experience an increase in your endorphin levels. These are natural hormones that get released when we are doing exercise that requires a burst of energy and feel good. Exercise also boosts your cardiovascular health which helps you to have greater endurance throughout the day.
Through exercise you will improve your sleep patterns gaining better quality sleep you are likely to feel better in the mornings. Moreover you are likely to feel more mentally alert, energised and be more productive. It is very common for people say they feel great after a session which is and its great way to support your everyday stresses and have a natural energy boost. Furthermore the low impact nature of the exercise isn’t an excessive stress on the body so doesn’t excessively fatigue you.
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Benefits of Pilates References
Angin, E. Erden, Z. Can, Z. (2015) The Effects of Clinical Pilates Exercises on Bone Mineral Density, Physical Performance and Quality of Life of Women With Postmenopausal Osteoporosis Journal Back Musculoskelet Rehabil (2015);28(4):849-58.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26406222/
Yamato et al (2015) Cochrane review: Pilates for low back pain https://www.cochrane.org/CD010265/BACK_pilates-for-low-back-pain
Savkin & Aslan (2017) The Effect of Pilates Exercise on Body Composition in Sedentary Overweight and Obese Women https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27607588/