10 Benefits of Pilates

If you haven’t started doing Pilates,  it could be because you did not think it would benefit you greatly enough for you to overcome your time or money reason for not starting. Hence today I would like to share an article I came across talking about 10 benefits of Pilates. What I like about the benefits of Pilates this author share is they appeal to different types of people. However I also noticed most of the benefits are physical ones. I personally feel there is so much more to Pilates. There are mental and emotional/spiritual benefits as well and these are just as important. I think people who does Pilates over a long run become more focused in whatever they do. They also turn out to be people who pursue excellence and embrace quality rather than quantity. This probably has to do with the high level of precision at which we move and exercise when we practise Pilates. They are alert, present and more open to new things that come their way. Pilates also improves our spiritual being and energize us to take our daily tasks to new levels. Enjoy this article and share with us your personal benefits from practising Pilates.

Article:

Have you been going to other exercise classes and want to try something different? Do you suffer from a bad back and need to find an answer? Read this article to find out about the 10 benefits of Pilates.

Benefits of Pilates 1: Pilates Creates a Strong Core
By careful training and precise control over the smaller muscles in the lower abdominal region and lower back region Pilates is able to improve your core stability. This can result in better control of the small spinal joints during movement of the spine and better control of the pelvis and hip regions. This can have many beneficial effects including improving pelvic stability, lower back pain reduction, better control of the bladder and stronger pelvic floor muscles.

Benefits of Pilates 2: Pilates improves relaxation
By slowing down movement to help improve core stability Pilates also has the effect of inducing a deeply relaxed state that can add to the euphoria attached to doing a well taught Pilates class. Classes are often small and no more than 5/6 people with a slow tempo and a relaxed atmosphere adding to the relaxation process during the class.

Benefits of Pilates 3: Improve your Posture with Pilates
It has been demonstrated and recommended for a long time by health care practitioners that Pilates benefits your overall feeling of well-being but also can help in most cases to improve your posture. Pilates is often recommended by our experts to help improve overall posture and reduce muscle imbalance. The type of Pilates that we recommend needs to be precise and guided by fully qualified practitioners who have valuable years of experience and understand or work very closely with therapists to understand the workings of the human body.

Benefits of Pilates 4: Improve your Athletic Performance with Pilates
At Perfect Balance Clinic our Physiotherapists and Rehab expert’s use some Pilates based exercises to allow them to optimise athletic performance and help speed up post event recovery allowing for a speedy return to sport and athletic performance. We work with Gold Medal winning athletes as an intrinsic part of their athletic programme to help reduce injury occurrence, under the guidance of their coaches and therapists.

Benefits of Pilates 5; Improve your co-ordination in a Pilates class
When you are taught Pilates in a controlled environment you soon develop a heightened awareness of your body. Whether that be your neck, shoulders or legs, they are all used to improve your body awareness thus heightening the feedback on a neurological level to your brain and allowing for development of a better co-ordinated individual. Pilates movements should be slow and almost dance like allowing for a deeper level of interpretation by your brain and nervous system. The movements are often repeated allowing for a rehearsal of the positions, which results in better integration into normal daily movements.

Benefits of Pilates 6: Better alignment with Pilates
We often see people who are referred to Pilates after having spinal surgery. You have to wonder if some surgery could be avoided by proper spinal alignment and training of the spinal stabilising muscles. We often never get to find out. We do therefore recommend that people try at least a short course of Pilates based exercise to allow them to regain some control over their spinal musculature and develop better alignment of their spines. Classic examples of people who could do with Pilates are those with one shoulder higher than the other, or they’ve been told they have one leg longer than the other.

Benefits of Pilates 7: Vastly Improved Concentration with Pilates
Because Pilates is very slow, precise and controlled it is important that you concentrate lots during the sessions. This we are told improves peoples levels of concentration as they almost reach a meditative state allowing them to not only excel in Pilates but also excel in their activities of daily living.

Benefits of Pilates 8: Better Stamina Levels with Pilates
Due to the long duration of the classes and the intensity that people often work at during them, it is inevitable that stamina improves as a result of this type of training. By stressing the different energy systems in the body unlike other forms of exercise Pilates is responsible for better utilisation of oxygen in your tissues and results in a more optimal performance based on better stamina levels. Most people find their first classes difficult and ache for a few days afterwards. This is normally a ‘good’ ache or so we have been told, which results from the start of the adaptation process to this form of exercise.

Benefits of Pilates 9: Improved breathing with Pilates
Due largely to the type of breathing that Pilates induces, it has been reported that people gain better control of their breathing after doing Pilates sessions on a regular basis. The movements in Pilates are sequenced to allow for better control of breathing and integration with bodily movements allowing for better control and an improved awareness of their breathing state.

Benefits of Pilates 10; Pilates never stops developing
Since its early conception by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century Pilates has evolved to encompass other forms of equipment and deliver a much more biomechanical and correct form of exercise. Pilates largely is focused on the above main principles and this has been taken on board with the newer more advanced varieties of Pilates. In its purest form Pilates was used for strengthening the mind and body, often this can be lost in classes as they are overcrowded and instructors are poorly qualified resulting in Pilates for the masses. Better results from Pilates can be gained from the smaller class sizes which encourage a more individualised approach and more intense work out. People do Pilates to get results.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6462459

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Pilates Class – Side Bend

This Pilates video shows a Pilates Mat exercise that I love to teach in a Pilates class. There are not many mat Pilates piece that works on our sides and this piece stretches as well as strengthens our sides. Compared to the other side exercises in mat Pilates such as the Side Kick and Side Kick Kneeling, the Side bend is a more difficult piece. This is especially in terms of stabilization to our trunk and the fact that only a feet and arm supports the body. However this is extremely effective!

Strengthen & Stretch your sides in a Pilates Class!

The Side Bend gives you a great opportunity to target your Obliques (Side Abdominal muscles) and transverse abdominis (Deep Abdominal muscles) which are a favourite with people who love the idea of a slim waist! I agree that this is a good exercise to include in your Pilates workout or Pilates class if that is your goal. However there are more benefits than just that. The muscles of our shoulders and back that are responsible for abducting our shoulders and depressing & abducting our shoulder blades are all working here (This includes at least 5 different muscles). I always say if you do not have much time to exercise every day, practise Pilates for the simple reason: You work many body parts in an hour of Pilates class.

Few pieces with arm work in mat Pilates Class

I often get questions by my clients who does mat Pilates Class regularly if there were more arm work or why they were not getting much arm exercises. Well the first reason has got to be there is not many in the first place. Even there were pieces with arm work, they were all more advanced and may not be done all at the same time for a class with Pilates beginners. Many new students struggle coping with exercises which required them to have their hand on the floor. Probably most people do not have much upper body strength? I’m not sure if it is due to our culture in Singapore, but many struggle with exercises that involve a fair amount of arm strength. I often joked with my female clients that they did not have to do housework since they employed maids. So no sweeping, mopping, cleaning chore with the arms. Some of them agreed! On the other hand I feel it is because many people do not want bulky arms and they associate that with arm work. However having a competent arm and shoulder is necessary to enjoy the benefits of an exercise like the Side Bend. I personally feel having a balanced and toned body is important but not to the extend that we potentially hurt ourselves during fatigue.

Things to note for this piece in a Pilates Class

In a Pilates class, Think about creating an arc from the head to the foot on the floor by pressing the support hand and foot against the ground as this helps to stretch the side that is facing the ceiling. Be careful not to go into a hyper-extension of the elbow for the support arm. The lowering of the trunk is not a drop but a controlled lowering. Think of yourself as a piece of bread in a toaster slot, where your whole side is in line and not deviated from centre.

 

Enjoy this Pilates video and share with us your experience practising this piece!

 

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