The charm of Pilates has now rubbed off to almost every fitness enthusiast. We wanted to just lay out facts in front of you and let you decide whether Pilates is for you or not.
Pilates creator Joseph Pilates mentions the effect of Pilates on his life as
“I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.”
When Joseph Pilates gave this statement in 1965, he was 86 years of age. It might seem a little unbelievable to you. How can a man that old claim to have never been in pain or injured?
Is Pilates really that good?
It might very well be.
Pilates training helps to improve their overall health by stabilizing their key muscles. It is all about balanced development of our bodies by strengthening our core muscles. Core is the large group of muscles that form the center of our body. These muscles include abdomen, lower back, hips and buttocks muscles.
When Joseph Pilates moved to America, he introduced Pilates to New York. Initially dancers started practicing as it helped them to perform better. This lead people to believe that this exercise form is meant only for dancers. Slowly but steadily, people started accepting Pilates as they realized how it changed their own bodies as well.
Pilates is Safe and Sequential
Pilates exercises are sequential and it is designed so that the users move through the entire program safely. There is no isolation of exercises here. One exercise prepares you for the next one. The exercises always need to be followed in order to get the optimum results.
Pilates Improves Posture
We might be dancers or athletes or doctors or teachers, but we all require a good posture in our profession. Good posture reflects professional attitude and prevents work-related injury. Sadly, most of us sit sloppily in front of the computers all through the day. This ‘just’ sitting posture is actually the worse as it weakens our core.
Pilates strengthens the core and hence is an excellent posture enhancer. Good upright posture becomes a habit even when one is sitting or standing.
Pilates also emphasizes the idea of muscle control. While practicing it, there is no room for sloppy or lifeless movement. Each movement is kept sharp and small.
Pilates is a Great Foundation For a Healthy Body
Pilates is a full body workout – it involves each body part, from head to toe. As Pilates focusses on core muscles, each workout starts with abdomen. Gradually the program focusses outwards towards arms and legs.
Unlike many other fitness programs that bother joints, Pilates is supportive of your joints.
Most of us have a stiff spine, something similar to a stick. This is because our vertebrae are arranged closely together. Pilates creates space between vertebrae. This transforms our spine into a sting of beads – with fluidity and flexibility. Pilates thus also promotes long lean musculature. It makes us appear tall and our movement appearing graceful. In long run it so much so can even prevent degenerative spinal problems.
During Pilates, our core stays stabilized and only peripheral organs like arms and legs are used for exercise. This stabilization helps even those with chronic back pain. Even patients facing more serious bone-related ailments like loss of bone density in the hips and spine can benefit from Pilates.
Pilates is About Quality Over Quantity
Most workout methods count on repetitions to anticipate results. Pilates give expected results because it focuses on six principles – centering, control, flow, breath, precision and concentration. Moves done through these principles give better and quicker results than moves repeated 100 times.
Pilates Builds Endurance
Pilates is excellent for building physical stamina and mental toughness both together. As each movement requires core strength, performing the movement boosts persistence.
Pilates is Easy and Frill Free
Practicing Pilates is easy. If you have ever taken a dance class or any form of exercise class, chances are that you have already done Pilates (though you did not know at that time). It incorporates movements that are easy to follow and worth practicing.
Many Pilates studios promote Pilates workout equipment. Equipment adds springs, tensions and resistances to workout session. Though such equipment are beneficial, they aren’t necessary. Pilates can be done effectively with just a mat using one own body weight. As one progress in this program and needs a little more challenging workout, equipment can be added on the advice of a trainer.
Pilates Has a Spiritual Touch
Just like yoga, Pilates’s foundation too is philosophical in nature. Its focus on breathing, movement, control and precision calm down our bodies and mind as well. Goal of Pilates exercise is to produce and attention free union of mind and body. Each movement is aimed to train the body from staying connected with mind at all times.
If not for physical workout, one can indulge in this practice just for calming nerves and busting stress. It won’t give a ‘meditation’ effect; however, it will surely make facing pressure, anxiety and hassle much easier.
Pilates Lets You Be Yourself
As we practice Pilates over a period of time, we start respecting our bodies all the more. We become confident with ourselves and mentally strong enough to keep standing tall even in front of an adversary.