Step inside a Pilates studio and you’ll feel as though you’ve just been time warped into a different era. The place looks like a torture chamber during the mediaeval times with all its eccentric metal springs and black straps dangling from a padded board called a reformer. Oddly, that’s what a Pilates studio usually looks like.
Pilates, just like any other exercise, can leave you feeling sore but at the end of every workout you’ll come out stronger, leaner and more importantly healthier than you once were. Pilates is a form of exercise that is designed to develop strength, good posture, balance and flexibility all at the same time.
The founder of this awesome exercise is none other than Joseph Pilates, hence the name. Joseph introduced Pilates during the early 20th century.
Back then, Pilates wasn’t designed as a form of exercise but rather a mere sequence of movements that were aimed to help English veterans recover from the injuries they sustained during the First World War.
But amazingly since then it has become a sought-after exercise routine for anyone who wants to be stronger and for those who want to build a solid core.
Pilates at Home
Although there are several Pilates classes that would require the use of special equipment, there are other classes that only require a mat and all you need is your bodyweight to perform the moves making Pilates an easy and doable workout at home.
Pilates is an exercise that can be easily replicated so you don’t really have to visit the studio if you want a good workout. Doing Pilates at home, as long as you do it right, will give you the same benefits as you would if you went to an actual Pilates class.
So here are the top 7 benefits of doing Pilates (and it doesn’t matter where):
#1 – An Improvement in Flexibility
When you use the reformer during a Pilates exercise you are increasing your range of motion and stretching your muscles at the same time making you more flexible overtime.
And the more you do Pilates, the more you’ll notice an improvement in your flexibility. The reason behind this is because consistent and continuous muscle stretching can make you more flexible.
#2 – An Increase in Muscle Tone and Strength
During a Pilates workout the muscles in your abdomen, your hips and your buttocks are all engaged. This constant contraction keeps your core muscles toned and strong and it also helps build endurance.
#3 – An Improvement in Breathing
One of the first things you’ll notice once you start doing Pilates is they give careful thought on your breathing pattern. Pilates helps improve your breathing and not just that it also improves your body’s blood circulation.
Although breathing comes naturally but yes, there is such a thing as breathing properly. And when you breathe the right way you are better able to efficiently deliver oxygen to your muscles and the rest of your body allowing it to effectively remove toxins.
It also helps your muscles recover much quicker.
#4 – An Improvement in Posture
Regardless of what you are doing in your day Pilates will make you more attentive to your posture because it emphasizes on sucking your stomach in and pulling your shoulders down, both of which are necessary for good spinal alignment and posture.
In a Pilates class your instructor will train you to place your attention and focus in pulling your stomach in and your shoulders down. And eventually with constant practice, these moves will become natural to you even after your class thereby inevitably improving your overall posture.
#5 – Encourages Body Awareness
Before Pilates we’re pretty sure you wouldn’t give a care about your posture but once you start doing Pilates, being aware of your posture becomes an automatic thing. How you sit and stand will matter to you. And so it’s safe to say Pilates encourage body awareness.
#6 – Supports Strong Joints
As mentioned in #1, Pilates helps stretch your muscles thereby improving its elasticity as well as its joint mobility. So when you are constantly doing Pilates the risk for stiff and weak joints is relatively lower. Doing Pilates also lowers your risk of getting arthritis.
#7 – Promotion of Better Balance
Doing Pilates regularly helps improve your balance by correcting your posture and your physical coordination.
Although Pilates might sound a bit intimidating for some, the truth is, it really isn’t once you learn the basics of Pilates.
It is actually a great exercise routine that helps build and strengthen your core to give you better balance, flexibility and posture.
And contrary to popular belief, Pilates is not exclusive for fitness fanatics. Anyone who is willing to improve oneself can do Pilates so if you are considering Pilates we suggest you visit a Pilates studio and ask about it.
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