Pilates - what will it do for me?
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a system of over 500 controlled exercises that engage the mind and condition the total body. It is a balanced blend of strength and flexibility training that improves posture, reduces stress and creates long, lean muscles without bulking up. Pilates works several muscle groups simultaneously through smooth, continuous motion, with a particular concentration on strengthening and stabilizing the core (the abdomen, back and pelvic girdle region.)
The focus is on quality of movement rather than quantity, which makes one feel invigorated rather than exhausted after a session. Pilates takes a balanced approach so that no muscle group is overworked and the body works as an efficient, holistic system in sport and daily activity. Pilates exercises can be performed on a mat or on specialized equipment such as a Pilates Reformer Pilates Cadillac and Ladder Barrel.
What are the benefits of Pilates?
With regular committed Pilates workouts you can expect to feel better, have more energy, sleep better, be more relaxed...should we go on? These are the common benefits of individuals work exercise with Pilates:
- Improve strength, flexibility and balance
- Tone and build long, lean muscles without bulk
- Challenge deep abdominal muscles to support the core
- Engage the mind and enhance body awareness
- Condition efficient patterns of movement making the body less prone to injury
- Reduce stress, relieve tension, boost energy through deep stretching
- Restore postural alignment
- Create a stronger, more flexible spine
- Promote recovery from strain or injury
- Increase joint range of motion
- Improve circulation
- Heighten neuromuscular coordination
- Offer relief from back pain and joint stress
- Correct over-training of muscle groups which can lead to stress and injury
- Enhance mobility, agility and stamina
- Compliment sports training and develop functional fitness for daily life activity
- Improve the way your body looks and feels
Can you imagine how good you could feel with Pilates?
What age group benefits from Pilates?
Any age! Pilates benefits all ages and all abilities. The exercises begin at your ability and you work to improve from that point. Exercises can be adapted, modified and customized for every individual needs. It's all about making it work for you.
Which is better - Pilates mat or equipment exercise?
It's not a matter of one being better than another. The fundamental Pilates workout can be performed on a Pilates mat alone, and great results can be achieved through beginner, intermediate and advanced moves.
However, the various equipment pieces such as the Reformer or Cadillac incorporate light spring resistance that works like concentric and eccentric muscle contractions to safely sculpt, tone and stretch the muscles. The Ladder provides support that allows you to safely manipulate your body to stretch and engage muscles otherwise challenging to isolate. Smaller Pilates equipment pieces such resistance bands, Pilates circle and exercise balls also provide an element of variety and focus to a Pilates regimen.