Pilates: Building A Stronger Body

If you aren’t familiar with Pilates, your thoughts most likely go to the comparison of Yoga or it is a form of Yoga, this may be because the exercise is low-impact with controlled movements. Pilates is a strength-building exercise that was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century that focuses on strengthening the core muscles, improving flexibility, and balance, and promoting overall physical and mental well-being. For us to better understand Pilates, let us first dive into its principles; 

  • Concentration improves the connection between your mind and body by focusing and becoming more mindful of each movement.
  • Control emphasizes the importance of proper alignment by performing in a slow and controlled manner.
  • Centering focus on the core muscles, which are the muscles of the abdomen, lower back, and pelvis works to strengthen and tone the entire body.
  • Flow of continuous, stabilized, and elegant poses.
  • Precision through accuracy and repetition of movements till you are one with your body.
  • Proper Breathing helps to engage deeper, stabilizing muscles and promotes accurate form and posture.  

Now you are probably wondering how those fit all together. Well, Pilates exercises can be performed using your body weight or with the use of small equipment such as resistance bands, small weights, or specialized Pilates equipment such as a reformer or a Cadillac. Often described as a “whole body” exercise method, as it works to strengthen and tone the entire body by focusing on the core muscles, which are the muscles of the abdomen, lower back, and pelvis. Strong core muscles are essential for good posture and overall physical well-being. In addition to its physical benefits, Pilates is also known for its mental benefits like reducing stress, improving focus and concentration, and increasing relaxation and centeredness after a workout.

There are several different types of Pilates classes available:

  • Classical Pilates is a combined mat and apparatus workout
  • Mat Pilates is the most accessible form of Pilates as you can do it pretty much anywhere and no equipment is needed.
  • Contemporary Pilates has a more functional approach tailored to you, including equipment and modified exercises.
  • Reformer Pilates is the most intense and dynamic of all as it utilizes the reformer machine that is designed to add resistance to each of the Pilates poses.
  • Clinical Pilates is the incorporation of safe, effective, and specific Pilates exercises, which will help to aid in rehabilitation and prevent future injuries while building core strength.

Some may be equipment-based classes and highly advisable to have a certified Pilates instructor. Private sessions involving one-on-one instruction are especially good for those who are new to Pilates or who have specific goals or needs as private sessions can be tailored to suit the abilities of the individual.

Pilates is a safe and effective exercise method for people of all ages and fitness levels. Finding a Pilates Studio or recommended and certified Pilates Instructor is as easy as simply clicking that search button for the nearest one to you. Don’t waste any more time, start strengthening your core today!

Francis O'Palick 27/02/2023

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