Benefits of Pilates

Benefits of Pilates

Benefits of PilatesWhen it comes to Pilates, most people are either in love with it, or have never tried it in their lives. If you’re in the latter group, we, and several researchers, suggest that you start today due to its unique and invigorating benefits. Let’s see for benefits of Pilates.

Pilates Origin

If you’re unfamiliar with this practice, it’s simply a system developed in the early 20th century by a German self-defense instructor, boxer and bodybuilder, named Joseph H Pilates. The practice was developed for rehabilitation and to improve physical strength and posture. Pilates also helps develop core strength and awareness of breath. Most people enjoy Pilates because it gives them a long, lean and flexible dancer-like physique.

Mat or Reformer?

Pilates reformer and Pilates mat workouts offer the same benefits, therefore choosing between the two when you’re starting out can be a bit of a problem. However, do not let this stop you from trying this amazing system.

Pilates is all about working against resistance to train the body’s powerhouse, which include the abdomen, hips, lower back and buttocks.

With a mat, you use your own body to create resistance, whereas a reformer involves pulleys and springs to create resistance. Since both types lead to almost the same benefits, your choice should come down to availability of the equipment. If you don’t have access to a reformer, simply roll out your mat in your living room and get started.

Physical Benefits of Pilates

Thinking about making the switch? Keep reading and we guarantee that you’ll want to start Pilates today.

1. Say hello to washboard abs

In Pilates language, your core is part of your powerhouse. Pilates engages and works your core like no other workout. In one study, women strengthened their rectus abdominis (your six pack muscles) by an average of 21% in 36 weeks of performing pilates. They also eliminated the muscle imbalances on the sides of their core, achieving a stronger and leaner midsection [1].

2. Improved strength

Your core isn’t the only part of your body you’ll be strengthening. Pilates is an incredible full body-conditioning system that does not require any equipment and can be performed anywhere.
Instead of physical weights, you use your own bodyweight to create the resistance required to tone and strengthen your muscles. Therefore, the effectiveness of your workout is solely dependent on the effort you put into it.

Pilates targets each muscle group evenly, while balancing them out using static and dynamic resistance movements. You also get to work in all planes of movement, which include standing, lying and sitting. As a result, your muscle fibers are engaged from various directions, creating deep tone and strength, without the need for heavy equipment.

3. Increase in flexibility

Performing exercises on the reformer and doing stretchers can help elongate your muscle and improve your range of motion. The consistent stretching required in Pilates helps loosen tight muscles and joints, thereby elevating your performance in all your workouts and movements (not just Pilates) [2].

4. Improvement in breathing

Better breathing patterns lead to improved blood circulation in the body. This means that with deep breathing, your body is able to supply more oxygen and nutrients to muscles and organs, while getting rid of the toxins from them at an effective pace. Therefore, you’ll recover much faster post workout and feel less fatigued as well.

5. Posture improvement

Perhaps one of the most popular benefits of Pilates is that it improves your posture. Often neglected while doing daily tasks such as brushing your teeth, driving a car, cooking and carrying groceries, your posture is the most important aspect of your body, which if improved, can lead to a myriad of benefits.
Pilates helps pull your stomach in and pushes your shoulders down [3]. It also improves your spinal alignment and helps maintain its natural curve. In order to perform Pilates effectively, good posture is important.

6. Strengthens joints

Pilates elongates and tones your muscles, increasing their mobility and elasticity. Great news is, it has the same effects on your joints as well, resulting in stronger and more mobile joints. This reduces your risk of joint pain, osteoarthritis, arthritis and other bone-related conditions in the future.

Louise and Richard Thomas founders of Fresh Start

Louise and Richard Thomas founders of Fresh Start

At Chiang Mai Thailand, your health and fitness are of utmost importance to us. Therefore, we have designed a plethora of fitness routines and health guides with effective tips on how you can kick-start your journey to a healthier and happier life, today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

1. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Aug;44(8):1589-94. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31824fb6ae. Marked effects of Pilates on the abdominal muscles: a longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging study.
2. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Mar;24(3):661-7. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181c277a6. Pilates for improvement of muscle endurance, flexibility, balance, and posture.
3. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015 Mar; 27(3): 871–876. Effects of Pilates on muscle strength, postural balance and quality of life of older adults: a randomized, controlled, clinical trial

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