Pilates classes are a great choice for just about anyone – they can help activate a stagnant body in a non-aggressive way, or they can be a fantastic supplemental workout for those who exercise regularly
Pilates has many benefits, and the most impactful ones? A slim and shapely physique.
For those who dream of improving their physical condition and, above all, losing a few kilos and shaping their figure without overloading the body with strenuous workouts, Pilates seems to be an ideal solution. Despite the fact that it is believed to be a sport only for women, the truth is that it is perfect for everyone – regardless of gender, age and physical fitness.
For those not entirely familiar with fitness terminology and different types of workouts, it’s worth expanding on this enigmatic name. Pilates is a form of exercise that aims to strengthen muscles while aligning posture and improving body flexibility.
One of its key features is its gentleness and subtlety compared to, say, strength training. Unlike them, it does not strain the musculoskeletal system of the practitioners. Most of the exercises are centered around the torso and abdominal muscles, but a professional workout always involves the rest of the body as well.
Pilates is all about lengthening, using slow and long movements, and connecting with your muscles with the help of your breath, so one of the main benefits of practicing it is better, more stable posture.
As Pilates trainers point out, by focusing a lot on the movements, we build body awareness and learn how to find support for proper posture using muscles. Greater understanding and knowledge of how we manage our bodies also plays a big part in this. Pilates teaches proper spinal positioning and how to support yourself with your legs, glutes and abdominal muscles.
By regularly exercising the muscles in their full range of motion, we acquire another extremely important quality – flexibility. As one Pilates trainer and physical therapist Aaron Alexander argues, “Pilates is a real gem when it comes to flexibility training because it focuses on muscle integration.” In addition, Pilates uses a variety of complex stretching techniques, making it helpful in loosening up even the most stagnant areas of the body.
Pilates is also a great type of complementary workout. By practicing it regularly, we will see a significant increase in skill in the other workouts we do. Where does this change come from? The biggest part is that Pilates introduces an element of self-awareness about our body, movement, and everyday postural movement patterns. Simply put, it integrates all the muscles in our body.
Pilates is recommended for anyone who struggles with back pain or lacks control over hunching. Thanks to the body-lengthening movements in Pilates practice, the spine is decompressed, which is especially beneficial for people who spend most of their time in a sitting position. Studies have shown that regular exercise has positive effects on chronic lumbar pain.
Main photo: Alex Shaw/unsplash.com