More than 12 million people across the globe practice Pilates. Perhaps you’re one of them, or you’re interested in joining their ranks. Either way, you want to know the benefits that this type of practice can provide for you.
As it turns out, there’s a reason — well, plenty of reasons – why so many people are devoted to their Pilates practice. Here are five of the major benefits that this type of exercise will give you.
1. Pilates Forges Long, Lean Muscles
When you go to the gym and lift weights, you often concentrically contract your muscles. This means that your muscles shorten as they contract. It’s one way to build muscle mass, but it’s not the only method for toning your body.
Pilates relies on eccentric movement, in which your muscles lengthen as they contract. You do incorporate eccentric movement in the weightlifting example provided before — as you lower your weight back down to its starting position, you will lengthen and contract your muscles. However, most Pilates moves rely on eccentric movement, making this an even more valuable addition to your toning routine.
There are plenty of Pilates moves that will have you fighting against gravity or otherwise moving your body in a controlled manner. For instance, your studio Pilates instructor might have you slowly release the tension from your Pilates fitness circle.
Because eccentric movement encourages muscle lengthening at the same time as strengthening, it helps you to forge a longer, leaner physique. This applies to your upper body, lower body, and your core — Pilates can tone all of these areas.
2. Fortifies the Core and Improves Posture
On that note, let’s talk about the importance of core strength, something that Pilates can help you to improve and increase. Everyone should have solid core strength, as these muscles — in the abdominal area, the pelvic floor, and lower back — provide support to keep your body’s frame aligned.
With a strong base, your body has an easier time staying upright and strong. As such, tension releases from your neck and upper back area, which may feel the strain if you’re slumped over.
A strong core, therefore, improves your posture, too. Who doesn’t want to stand up taller and straighter? It’s a key component in appearing confident — and Pilates can get you closer to that ideal.
Your strong core will help you in other workouts, too. Once you learn to engage your core, you can fire it up for additional support in weightlifting, running, and other exercises that may otherwise cause strain, especially on the lower back.
3. Boosts Your Energy Levels
You may want to learn Pilates as a way to lose weight. Yes, this workout regimen can help you in that quest, but truthfully, it’s not the most efficient way to lose weight as it does not burn as many calories for the effort. However, Pilates repertoire will give you a good workout that will make you feel fantastic.
As with any workout, your Pilates routine will boost your body’s supply of feel-good endorphins post-workout. This will make you feel happier and more energized, too.
Keep in mind that the more that you move, the more energized you’ll feel. If a single Pilates class can make you feel more alert, imagine what a regular routine can do for you.
4. Anyone Can Hop Into a Class
Some workouts can be intimidating. You might get nervous about hitting the gym and lifting by yourself. But you don’t have to feel that way about Pilates.
The foundations can improve anybody at any age. Each class will center on building core strength and improving the body’s alignment. Whether you’re a teenager, an elite athlete, a retiree, or a new mom, your body will benefit from these practices. Not all workout regimens have such one-size-fits-all aims.
On top of that, your Pilates instructors will have no problem helping you ease into your practice. There are countless modifications that make it easy for just about anyone to get started. As they improve and build strength, they can try harder iterations of their favorite moves.
Finally, it is a gentle, low-impact exercise. That means it can grow with you through life. And that’s another huge reason why it appeals to people of all ages — it’s a lifelong practice that’s easy to tailor.
5. Soothes Your Mind
We mentioned how exercise can improve your mood by flooding your body with feel-good endorphins post-workout. Pilates does this and more for your state of mind.
The founder of this practice, Joseph Pilates, created it as a total body practice that honed body and mind. Coordinated breathing and movement mean you have to focus on and ground yourself in the present. As such, Pilates can help you ditch the stress and anxiety that your daily life creates — you will instead be focused on your coordinated workout moves.
Your mindful thinking and movements will carry with you outside of the Pilates studio, too. Regular practitioners find it easier to ward off anxiety after class, as well. Others report improved concentration and better sleep, thanks to the fact that Pilates clears their mind — and teaches them how to keep it that way post-class.
Experience the Benefits of Pilates Yourself
These five benefits are enough to entice anyone to start a Pilates practice. Maybe reading them has inspired you to give it a try, too.
If so, we’d love to see you at Pilatique Pilates Studio. Click here for a free consultation ahead of your first Pilates workout. Soon enough, you’ll experience all of the goodness that Pilates has to offer — and you’ll be singing its praises, too.