What exactly is Pilates?
Pilates, formerly known as "Contrology," is a full-body exercise method that is intended to improve daily activities and livelihood.
Regardless of how much emphasis is placed on core work, the end goal is not core strength.
The exercises, which were developed by Joseph Pilates in the early twentieth century, coordinate movement and breath to work the body's smaller and deeper stabilising muscles, as well as its prime movers.
Pilates aligns and supports the overall structure and joints of your body. What appears to be simple can be deceptively difficult and incredibly effective when done correctly and with good form. It allows you to move and breathe more freely and powerfully through your daily activities, resulting in less pain.
Pilates has 19 advantages:
1. It strengthens the core
Pilates is well-known for emphasising the core, which is the centre of the body from which all movement emanates. The core is made up of all of the muscles that surround the trunk and support and stabilise the body when they are strong and pliable.
Pilates works to strengthen and function the core.
Core strength is essential for reducing back and hip pain, as well as pelvic floor dysfunction, and is the source of explosive movement, hence the nickname "the powerhouse."
2. It improves posture
Your parents were correct when they told you to stop slouching and sit up straight.
Improved posture is the difference between sitting or standing tall with ease and sitting or standing tall with weak, imbalanced muscles, headaches, shoulder or back pain.
It improves posture by increasing awareness of your alignment and strengthening neglected postural muscles.
3. It alleviates back pain
Pilates teaches the deeper abdominal muscles and pelvic floor to contract and release simultaneously, which is a true sign of strength. These muscles function as a brace, lifting and supporting the organs while also protecting and stabilising the spine.
4. It safeguards against injuries
Pilates rebalances the muscles of the body, ensuring that they are neither too loose nor too tight. Muscles that are too loose and weak, or too tight and rigid, can cause injury to the body.
Pilates emphasises dynamic strength development, which means you'll be able to better support and stabilise your joints as you move. Pilates, according to research, is an effective method for reducing the risk of injury in sports.
5. It boosts energy
Pilates improves cardiorespiratory capacity by focusing on breath. This increases the production of feel-good hormones, oxygen flow, and blood circulation.
Pilates accomplishes all of this while, due to its low impact nature, rarely leaving you fatigued. Instead, it provides an energy boost.
6. It increases body awareness.
Pilates is a mind-body workout that boosts proprioception (body awareness).
The ability to focus your attention inward and concentrate on sensations in your body increases your awareness of comfort or pain, emotions, and your surroundings.
Proprioception enhances the body's ability to respond to stimuli, which can aid in the prevention of injuries and falls. Because you will be more aware of your body's hunger signals, improved body awareness may even help you avoid overeating.
7. It alleviates stress
In addition to the benefits of increased body awareness, Pilates' inward focus and use of breath can help to calm the nervous system. This, in turn, can help you transition out of fight-or-flight mode, lower cortisol levels, and reduce stress over time.
8. It alleviates menstrual pain.
Dysmenorrhea is a condition that causes painful menstrual periods, and if you've had it, you know how debilitating it can be. Pilates has been shown in studies to help reduce menstrual pain.
9. It increases flexibility and mobility
First, let's distinguish between flexibility and mobility.
The amount of passive stretch in a muscle is referred to as its flexibility.
Good mobility necessitates both flexibility and strength.
Mobility is something you should strive for, whereas flexibility isn't functional in and of itself. To maximise mobility, you must have a good balance of strength and flexibility.
Smooth transitions between precise and slow, controlled movements keep a Pilates practice moving.
Most Pilates exercises combine strength, flexibility, and mobility, rather than stretching after a strengthening exercise.
10. It improves balance
Balance is important at any age and is required for everyday activities requiring coordination, such as walking, or any nonlinear movements in life, such as reaching up and twisting.
Pilates improves balance and gait not only by strengthening the core, but also by emphasising alignment and whole-body exercises.