Pilates – benefits for all
Most of the clients at Joseph Pilates’ New York studio were professional dancers but the everyone can benefit from the method’s precise and controlled, low impact exercises. Whether you’re an elite athlete or just someone looking to become a little bit fitter, Pilates offers many benefits. Here are just a few:
Pilates works the deep postural muscles, improving alignment and creating a sense of length throughout the body. After just a couple of sessions, clients usually find they have an improved awareness of their posture and find themselves standing taller and looking slimmer.
Stronger, more stable core
The core or “powerhouse” as Joseph Pilates called it, is the centre of your body. Much more than just the abdominals, it also consists of the muscles closest to the spine and pelvis and creates the strong foundation necessary for all movement.
Injury prevention and recovery
Injuries are often caused by muscular imbalances within the body. Pilates exercises are designed to lengthen tight muscles and strengthen weak ones, creating optimal alignment of joints and reducing the risk of injury.
It’s also an effective form of rehabilitation, helping to improve strength and function following an injury. There is also evidence to show that Pilates can result in a significant improvement in back pain .
Improved muscle tone and strength
Pilates won’t give you the kind of physique you get from lifting weights in the gym but it certainly develops functional strength and increases muscle tone. The studio equipment such as the cadillac and reformer, with their variable spring load, is particularly effective.
While there may not be as much of an emphasis on stretching per se as in yoga, Pilates does help to increase flexibility. Rather than holding a specific pose, Pilates exercises encourage flowing, dynamic movements that both lengthen and strengthen muscles.