Everything You Need to Know About Pilates


Pilates is a low-impact exercise. In recent years, it is getting popular among fitness enthusiasts and models. The basic benefits of Pilates are building lean muscle by toning the body and improving the posture. The exercises involved in Pilates training are inspired by ballet, yoga and callisthenics. Pilates stretches the muscle groups in a coordinated fashion that promotes strength, flexibility and balance. It focuses mainly on building the core strength to provide an even body movement.

Pilates can be taken up by people of all ages and fitness levels. There are many benefits you can get by taking up Pilates, including weight loss and improvements in strength, flexibility and endurance. However, it is important that no matter how healthy you are, you should consult a doctor before taking up any exercise form. Perhaps the most notable thing about Pilates is that it is a form of low-impact exercise, which means that the risk of injuries is lower than those of high-impact exercises. Even so, safety precautions and a trained instructor are necessary if you take up Pilates.

Pilates is based on the following five essentials to train the body:

  1. Rhythmic breathing
  2. Neck alignment
  3. Shoulder and chest stabilization
  4. Hip mobility
  5. Working the deep core muscles

Types of Pilates:

There are two basic types of Pilates:

  1. Mat-based Pilates: This type is performed by sitting or lying on a mat. The exercises are performed by using gravity and bodyweight as the sources of resistance.
  2. Reformer-based Pilates: This type is performed on a specialised Pilates equipment called a reformer. A reformer is a box frame with a horizontal platform that slides. On this platform, people can perform Pilates routines while sitting, standing, kneeling or reclining.

Benefits of Pilates:

Over the decades, there have been many studies on the benefits of Pilates. These benefits are both therapeutic and preventative in nature, meaning that they can not only help you improve your current health and fitness status but also prevent further health complications in the future. The following are all the benefits of Pilates you should know about.

1.Stress relief:

Pilates exercise includes breathing deeply through your diaphragm. This practice is effective in slowing your heart rate. Hence, it can help you achieve a state of calmness and reduced stress levels. According to research findings, individuals who practice Pilates regularly experience improved sleep and reduced stress levels compared to those who don’t.

2.Improves bone density:

Bone-building is another remarkable benefit of Pilates. Bone, like muscles, responds well to resistance. In a Pilates workout, this is created by the equipment’s springs and resistance bands.

3.Promotes weight loss:

Pilates helps in gaining lean muscles and having more lean muscles helps burn more calories faster. As you progress as a Pilates practitioner, your exercise intensity levels also increase, which means that you are likely to burn more fat than before if you continue to practice Pilates in the long term. Moreover, a combination of regular Pilates with other dynamic forms of aerobic exercises along with eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you to lose weight easily.

4.Improves flexibility:

Pilates is geared toward safely improving the length and flexibility of the muscles as well as range of motion in the joints. This type of exercise makes your body more durable and helps to prevent injuries.

5.Back pain relief:

Pilates is effective for developing core strength. A strong core translates to a healthy back. One study found that individuals suffering from chronic lower back pain who performed Pilates for only one month enjoyed more relief compared to those who opted to visit a doctor. Moreover, they didn’t experience back pain for a whole year after stopping Pilates.

6.Increases energy levels:

Your energy levels normally increase the more you exercise. So, yet another benefit of Pilates is improved breathing and circulation. It also stimulates the nervous system and delivers the great feelings you’ll normally experience when you exercise the entire body.

7.Builds lean muscle mass:

If you want flatter abs, a tighter tummy, and improved body tone, Pilates can be of immense help. Moreover, building muscle mass improves your metabolism, promoting your weight loss efforts.

8.Improves mental well-being:

Besides providing physical health benefits, Pilates also promotes improved mental well-being. The exercises integrate body and mind in a bid to help you connect with your inner self and find peace and tranquility.

Safety precautions for Pilates:

Pilates is considered to be safe for people of all ages and fitness levels. However, you must take proper precautions like consulting a doctor before taking up Pilates if you check any of the following:

  1. Obese or overweight
  2. Underlying medical conditions like heart disease
  3. Recently undergone surgery
  4. Recovering from a musculoskeletal injury
  5. Pregnant
  6. Age above 45 years

Whether you have these conditions or not, you must only start Pilates under the guidance of a trained and certified instructor. Only such a trainer can show you proper form and ensure that you get all the benefits you can from Pilates.


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